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Muslim leaders say Bull Lane mosque will aid integration
A NEW £1.5 million mosque will help promote religious integration in York, a member of the Muslim community has said.
City of York Council approved plans for the mosque, to be built in Bull Lane, earlier this month, and fundraising has already begun around the country to enable the 8,000 square-foot project to go ahead.
The current mosque is attended by up to 300 Muslim families living in the city, along with overseas students from local universities, but the new building will be able to hold 480 people, and will include an exhibition room with Islamic literature, artefacts, and details on the history of the site.
Shazad Hussain, who is in charge of the York Mosque scheme, said: “The current mosque is damp and cramped with high maintenance costs and health and safety issues.
“Our wish is that the new mosque will become a religious resource for schools and interfaith groups to learn about Islam. We want the replacement mosque to promote integration and harmony and to have real benefits for the wider community in a city which is an important religious centre.”
Developers said some rooms at the building, which would also feature Islamic arch windows and two 12-foot minarets, could be made available to local community groups for hire, in a further effort to bond with local residents.
Mr Hussain said: “Our wish is to create an important new place of worship and a valuable facility which York people will be proud of.”
Richard Hampshire, a director at York-based LHL Group, who designed the new site, said the new plan was an improvement on the current mosque, and better than the plan for the larger scheme, which was withdrawn last year.
He said: “The existing mosque building is not suitable in quality or size for an important religion such as Islam. The proposed scheme is far smaller and more compact than the earlier plan. It is also very high-quality with good environmental credentials as well as addressing other planning and construction difficulties. We’re pleased to have local authority support and look forward to taking it to the next stage.”
Building is hoped to start within the next two years.