Plans for new Smethwick mosque set for approval

Plans to demolish and replace a Smethwick mosque with a much larger two-storey building are expected to be approved next week.

The Jami Masjid and Bangladeshi Islamic Centre is to be demolished to make way for a new mosque. Photo: Google Street View
The Jami Masjid and Bangladeshi Islamic Centre is to be demolished to make way for a new mosque. Photo: Google Street View

The Jami Masjid and Bangladeshi Islamic Centre is asking Sandwell Council for permission to tear down their existing place of worship to make way for a three-stage expansion.

But the scheme has led to complaints the design is out of character with the local area and it would cause significant loss of light to the nearby Providence Church.

Objectors also claimed the new mosque on Lewisham Road would cause major traffic and parking problems and create noise pollution from prayer meetings.

Recommending approval of the plans, planning officers said the first phase of construction would create a red brick, two-storey structure next to the existing centre.

The new mosque will measure 1,400 sq m spread over two floors and include a large prayer hall topped by a minaret and dome feature.

The final stage will create an extension linking the two sites.

The new mosque will provide nine parking spaces to accompany the existing 20 it shares with the nearby chapel.

In response to neighbours’ objections, council bosses said its design will not impact on sunlight on Providence Church while the height would be similar to other buildings in the area, adding: “The material choices for the building, whilst more traditional in appearance, will not be out of character with the area.

“An acoustic report has been submitted with this application which sets out an acoustic construction for the walls and windows to reduce noise break out to an acceptable level.”

A review of parking and traffic flow should be carried out after the second stage is built and the maximum number of worshippers be limited to 100, council bosses added.

Planning officers said the new mosque would "complete the regeneration of this part of Smethwick" and recommended the plans for removal.

They added: “The scheme is designed to be sympathetic to the surrounding area in terms of height and massing and with the introduction on both noise mitigations and traffic measures, it is considered that residential amenity will be adequately protected.”

Councillors will make a decision on the plans at their meeting on December 9.

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