No plans to put mosque into former Mulberry Tree pub in Ipswich, says Kurdish community group

The Mulberry Tree Pub closed last year. Picture: ARCHANT

The Mulberry Tree Pub closed last year. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A group seeking to re-develop a former pub has insisted it wants to turn the building into a centre for everyone – and not a mosque.

The Nawracy Cultural Centre has broken its silence to respond to questions about its plans for the former Mulberry Tree building on Major’s Corner two weeks ago.

It insists it wants to turn the building into a centre for the whole community, especially Kurdish residents – and says that a video placed on YouTube contained details of proposals, including for a mosque, that had been rejected before the planning application was made.

Nawracy spokesman Hewa Saleby said: “I would like to confirm that the application is indeed for a community centre and not a mosque and that there are no plans to change the use of the property to a mosque.

“What we are proposing is a community project for the benefit of the public; open for the public but with the Kurdish community in Ipswich in mind specifically. We are independent and are not connected or related to any other organisations in Ipswich.”

He added: “I can confirm that this video was only one of many proposals by some members of our community in Ipswich and that the trustees had already decided well before the planning application not to approve that proposal, and instead go with the Charity’s original plan of a community/cultural centre.”

The charity is expected to meet officials and councillors from the borough soon where they are likely to be told there are problems with the application as it stands because special conditions have to be met before a pub can be converted to another use.

Most Read

It is not clear in this case that those conditions have been met – so unless it is re-submitted with more detailed information it is likely council officials would have to recommend refusal of the application.

The borough is also anxious to assure themselves that no one involved in the redevelopment plans for the Rose and Crown site on Norwich Road last year is involved at a senior level in this proposal.

The site at the junction of Norwich Road and Bramford Road remains derelict almost a year after the building almost fell down. The planning application is due to be discussed by the borough later this month but could be deferred until later in the year.