Community plans to extend Ipswich mosque
IPSWICH'S Bond Street mosque is set for a major expansion, if borough officials give it the go-ahead.The mosque committee has applied to Ipswich Borough Council for planning permission to convert shops fronting on to Upper Orwell Street into an extension of the mosque.
IPSWICH'S Bond Street mosque is set for a major expansion, if borough officials give it the go-ahead.
The mosque committee has applied to Ipswich Borough Council for planning permission to convert shops fronting on to Upper Orwell Street into an extension of the mosque.
Their proposals would see the establishment of a bookshop as well as an extended place of worship.
The mosque was established in the former fire station in Bond Street in the 1980s, but as the number of Muslims in the town has increased it has become increasingly cramped.
Up to 400 men now attend Friday prayers' at the mosque every week.
The mosque has applied for permission to change the use of two shops in Upper Orwell Street into an extension of the mosque.
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The application was submitted last week and is expected to be considered by the borough's planning and development committee early in the New Year.
Eventually the Muslim community in Ipswich hopes to have a completely new £750,000 purpose-built mosque on the Bond Street site, but there is much fund-raising to be undertaken first.
Earlier this year a new community centre was opened at the mosque which provided more space for worship and activities in general - and the development into Upper Orwell Street would be the second major expansion of the centre.
It would also help to bring new life to a street which has been in decline for many years as it waits for work on the long-awaited Mint Quarter to start on the other side of the road.
Jane Chambers, councillor for the Alexandra ward in Ipswich, welcomed the proposed expansion: “This would be very good for the whole community. It is about time there was some good news for Upper Orwell Street and this is just the kind of thing that the area needs,” she said.
Did you know?
There are an estimated 40,000 Muslims in Suffolk.