Ipswich mosque plans to be decided next week

Run of shops in Westgate Street including Slemani and Shawarma Bistro

The application will be discussed on Wednesday. - Credit: Google Maps

A retrospective planning application to operate a mosque in Ipswich town centre will be decided next week. 

Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee will meet on Wednesday following an application for permission to run a mosque over a number of shops in Westgate Street.

Permission was sought after council officers told the Kurdish Islamic Community Centre (KICC) group that they had to apply for planning permission if they wanted to continue using the rooms as a mosque. 

Planning officials had visited the site after being told the rooms were being used as a mosque and community centre.

Ahead of Wednesday's meeting the application has been recommended for approval by officers.  

Members will look at the plans which ask to change the use of these rooms from retail to a place of worship, with one of the entrances to the mosque using some of the floor space of Slemani International Shop, in Westgate Street. 

If approved modern stud walls would be removed to provide an open prayer hall for men. A woman's prayer hall would be separated by a new stud wall. 

A Mihrab, which is a symbolic focal point of the religious building, would be formed for those praying to face Mecca, and replace a temporary Mihrab placed in a different location. 

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In the plans, the development shall only be in use between 6am and 9pm daily. 

The plans also include alterations to windows and doors at the property. 

Planning officers said the proposal is considered to be "an appropriate community use in this location".

The report added it would not detract from highway safety and "would not result in a material nuisance or detriment to amenity".