Derelict Blackburn pub could turn into Islamic teaching hub

The Crescent Hotel building was targeted by thieves and set alight last month

The Crescent Hotel building was targeted by thieves and set alight last month

First published in News
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CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert a derelict pub into an Islamic teaching hub have been re-submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Sajjad Shah Bukhari lodged proposals last December to turn The Crescent Hotel, on the corner of Bank Lane and Shadsworth Road, into a Madrasah.

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More detailed plans have now been submitted that could see an additional two-storey extension added to the building, which was targeted by thieves and set alight last month.

Mr Bukhari also wants to expand the car park to the rear of the disused pub from 19 spaces to 21.

Previous planning permission was granted for the site to be demolished and replaced with six homes, but that project never came to fruition.

In a design and access statement, the applicant said: “The proposal is for the change of use of the building to provide facilities for all five Islamic prayers, including Friday Prayers, a Madrasah, and after-school homework booster sessions during the evenings and at weekends, and generally as a local small community centre for all faiths.

“The centre will provide facilities for both male and female users of the building.”

Thieves stole copper piping from underneath the floorboards of the vacant former Thwaites pub on August 1, while a rubbish fire caused damage to an upstairs room during the same raid.

Some Shadsworth residents had objected to the initial plans, which did not include the extension and car park alterations and have yet to be approved by planning chiefs.

Mr Bukhari said the new proposals addressed previous doubts about the number of spaces provided for visitors.

He said: “The proposal meets this standard above and over what would be required, hence a Travel Assessment Plan has not been submitted.

“It should also be noted that children using the Madrasah live locally, with a walking distance of a maximum of five to eight minutes.”

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