Approval of expansion of Islamic Education Center in Little Harwood

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An Islamic education center may expand after its second building permit application is approved despite concerns over parking and road safety.

The former Little Harwood School will now move forward with its new one-storey and single-storey extensions, dormer windows and internal alterations to create a first floor.w

Blackburn with Darwen Council planners approved the scheme despite the borough’s motorways department questioning whether parking was adequate, its impact on road safety and whether there were appropriate provisions for the safe deposit and collection of children attending his medersa.

A design and access statement submitted with its second application after a first was rejected in August 2020 states: “The application site includes a former kindergarten and

associated grounds which originally housed St Stephens C of E Nursery School until 2010 when it merged with the primary school to create ‘St Stephens Primary School’ and moved into its

new purpose-built site across Robinson Street.

“At the time of the 2008 decision to build the replacement school, the buildings in the app were described as ‘not fit for purpose’.

“The Diocese of Blackburn got rid of the site and it became the temporary headquarters of the new Tauheedul Islam Boys’ School and in recent years it has been occupied by an Islamic educational center providing teaching, worship and support spiritual to the local community of Little Harwood.

“The condition of the building has continued to deteriorate and more than a decade after the building was classified by the Department of Education as ‘not fit for purpose’, the time has now come to secure the future use of the building.

“The applicant seeks to remodel the interior of the building to better meet the needs of the educational center and its users.

“The aim is to modernize the premises internally to create a true 21st century framework for learning and spirituality.

“The main building comprises a stone-built Victorian primary school. Parts of the building are in poor condition.

“The building was originally constructed for educational purposes and the current use is a continuation of that.”

A report recommending approval by planning officer Christian Barton said: “Compared to the previous application, these proposals feature significant design improvements.”

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