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Plans for Islamic centre have been approved at appeal
A new islamic education centre on the site of a secondhand car dealership in Keighley has been approved at appeal after Bradford planners turned down the scheme.
Religious group the Al Hidaayah Foundation applied for a change of use at Reg Thompson Cars, Bridge Street and now a Government inspector has ruled in favour of the plan to transform the existing two-storey building.
The original proposals met with 16 objections, including opposition from the Bangladeshi Islamic Association in nearby Temple Row.
The Reg Thompson car dealership has previously said it would relocate locally and its customers would not be affected if plans for the islamic education centre are approved.
It is understood the car lot has not yet been sold to any party.
Government inspector Philip Major noted that contrary to some views, the AHF centre was not going to be a mosque and explained his decision to grant the appeal.
Mr Major said one of the major objections raised related to access and traffic generation.
“It may well be that an educational centre would attract a greater throughput of vehicles than a car dealership, though that is by no means certain,” he said. “In any event, the Highway Authority has no objections to the scheme. I cannot agree that lack of on-site parking is likely to cause problems in the future.
“For these reasons the objections based on highways and traffic matters cannot be sustained,” said Mr Major. He added that a proper entrance and exit scheme was essential for the site.
“I have been informed of the general concern relating to night time noise and disturbance in the locality and the presence of nearby drinking establishments, which may result in a clash between uses. However, the local police have confirmed that there is no objection to the proposal,” he said.
However, recognising local concerns about disruption to daily life, Mr Major imposed conditions including that the centre may only be used between 9am and 8pm on weekdays and from 9am to 5pm at weekends.
Nobody from the Al Hidaayah Foundation, which is based in Victoria Road, Keighley, was available to comment on the decision.