First image of £18m mosque

An artist's impression of revamped plans for a giant £18 million mosque and community centre near a Black Country bypass can be revealed for the first time today.

First image of £18m mosque

An artist's impression of revamped plans for a giant £18 million mosque and community centre near a Black Country bypass can be revealed for the first time today.

The scheme features a 65ft minaret and will be the third highest structure in Dudley town centre if planning chiefs backthe proposals.

The revised two-acre complex will stretch along the east side of the town bypass from the Flood Street Island to Hall Street. Final plans should be submitted to before the end of February.

Dudley Muslim Association chairman Khurshid Ahmed said the objective was to encourage communities to "mix with each other." He said opinions of residents had been taken on board and key changes made "to underline the theme of integration."

The £12million community centre will boast a sports hall, gym, creche, drop-in community advice facilities and high-tech computer rooms.

The original scheme drew more than 2,000 letters of objections, prompting a cut in the height of the tower of 45ft, improved parking and separating the mosque from the community centre.

The "Pride of Dudley" title has also been dropped to appease protesters who claimed the name was an insult to non-Muslims.

A new name is now being sought - with options including "The Unity Centre" or using the name of a famous Dudley person.

Mr Ahmed said: "We can't ask everybody in Dudley to take pride in a mosque, but we can ask people to take pride in a facility that everybody can use and take advantage of. The height of the minaret never entered our minds. We want a building that fits in with the town and its architecture."

Dudley Ukip councillor Malcolm Davis said the location was wrong and added: "If they are going to change the name, that's going part of the way to appeasing people, but I think the whole building is inappropriate."

By Mark Walsh

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News