A Burton mosque is to demolish its "poor quality" premises because it is no longer fit for purpose, a new report says. The Central Jamia Mosque Rizvia, in Uxbridge Street, Burton, is housed in an old Victorian former school, but leaders have said its existing facilities are "cramped, poor-quality and sub-standard" and need to be improved.
Plans have now been approved to demolish the mosque and community centre and replace it with a three-storey building. The current mosque, which is one of six in Burton, has capacity for between 500 and 600 people, but has no dedicated provision for women.
It has 42 car parking spaces. The new mosque will allow for 68 spaces and the footprint of the new building will be lower than the current premises. The current mosque footprint stands as 1,666 m2, while the new premises will be 1,179 m2, occuping around 38 per cent of the total site. It currently occupies 46 per cent.
The report submitted to East Staffordshire Borough Council, which approved the plans said: "The proposal is intended to better meet the current religious and other non-religious needs of the local Muslim and non-Muslim community and provide much-needed facilities for women and children, as well as meeting the religious and social needs of the local Muslim population, in particular, and local community in general.
"A desire to enhance and improve the dated mosque and community centre facilities and provide much-needed prayer and other facilities for women and children - as well as to cater for the wider community irrespective of their race, creed, colour, gender and religion - is the driving force behind the proposed scheme.
"The replacement will endeavour to tackle some of the social exclusion and integration issues currently plaguing society and will be a model for ... cities. The community centre will be for the local community, as well as serving a focal point for meetings and other events for local councillors, health authority and others such as social services and housing."
Despite the new mosque reaching three storeys, as opposed to the current single-storey provision, the report says there is "no possibility of homes being overlooked" as the mosque will be 42m from any properties. The current ground floor boasts three prayer halls, a gym, youth club and multi-purpose hall.
The new building's ground floor will include a funeral hall and dining room. The first floor will include a ladies' prayer hall, everyday prayer hall and an Eid prayer hall.
The second floor will have a second Eid prayer hall and a lecture hall. The report added: "The proposed areas will offer a modern, clean and purpose built facility when compared to the existing cramped and makeshift facilities.
"The existing halls are not fit for purpose and the new proposal should be viewed as a much needed improvement to the existing poor quality and sub standard facilities, offering among other things new facilities for ladies and young people which are absent from the existing mosque facilities."