04:24PM, Thursday 02 May 2019
The chairman of the Windsor Muslim Association (WMA) is ‘very confident’ the Royal Borough will approve its plans for a new Islamic community centre in Dedworth.
The group is awaiting a council decision on its application to transform Ruddles Pool, in Maidenhead Road, into a place of worship.
Previous attempts to find a permanent home in the town have failed due to nearby residents raising concerns about a lack of parking at proposed sites in Dedworth Road and Hanover Way.
WMA chairman Mohammed Ariff told the Express the group had ‘carefully chosen’ its proposed new base, which has space for 26 parking spaces on site.
Mr Ariff said: “The council said to us in 2015 that they recognised the community needed a place of our own.
“Unfortunately, the properties we have been renting haven’t had enough parking but we’ve carefully chosen this location and we’re very confident it meets all the requirements.”
He added that members have been encouraged to car share and cycle to the centre if they are attending any of its weekly sermons, language classes or coffee mornings.
The group, which is made up of about 30 families, is currently using the Alma Road Social Club for its activities.
Mr Ariff said that if the WMA’s application is approved, it is hoping to expand its community outreach work across the town, providing refugee relief and helping the homeless.
“All our community would be very pleased because we want to do more for the wider community and continue our work on projects such as helping the poor,” Mr Ariff said.
When the Express went to press, the council had received five letters of objection to the application.
One complaint said the community centre would be ‘out of keeping’ with the nearby residential homes while another described the application as proposing a ‘radical change of use’.
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