An application has gone in to Walsall Council planners to demolish Masjid Al Madina, on Mount Street, and replace it with a new two-storey mosque and Islamic centre.
If approved, the new facility would feature a prayer hall, library, dining and multi-purpose hall, classrooms, mortuary, improved ladies rooms, kitchen, offices and new toilets.
The mosque said the much-needed changes would be for the benefit the existing community which already uses Masjid Al Madina, and added there would be no weddings held there or external calls to prayer.
Agents Catalyst Design Ltd said: “The mosque is one of the largest mosques in Walsall. It is located between the multicultural neighbourhoods of Caldmore and Palfrey, and the mosque has good links with all religious groups in the area and is proud to be the centre of inter-community relations.
“The centre’s primary objective is to act as a place of worship for the Muslims in Walsall. Users of the mosque come from all walks of life and varying ethnic backgrounds.
“It is a strict policy of the mosque to allow people from all ethnic and religious lines to use the facilities that it provides. The mosque also provides extensive facilities for the Muslim women of Walsall.
“The mosque also has daily evening classes (Madrassah) for children under the age of 16, where Arabic/Urdu and Islamic studies is taught from Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm."
The agents add: “The proposal is to demolish the existing tired looking building which does not meet the current requirements in terms of its condition, space and facilities and to construct new efficient building that meets with the requirement for women’s space, children and better facilities for disabled, elderly and others.
“The proposal is aimed at catering for the vast community living within the area.
“The proposed scheme is designed to replace the existing building, which is in a bad state of conditions, with inadequate facilities and in need of extensive repair and maintenance.
“The new proposal will enhance the characteristic of the area, highlighted by the modern looking architectural statement building, with state of the art facilities as an architectural feature of the centre.
“The minarets act as a beacon to the area as a symbol of a mosque."
They further explain: “The centre is also intended to serve the local community within the area by providing a meeting place, dining/multi-purpose hall, educational centre with library/resource centre for the community to use.
“There will not be any increased of numbers, as the Masjid will be used by the same local people who lives in the proximity.
“Large wedding receptions will not be held in the new building. There will be no external amplification of call of prayer.
“The new building has been separated from the residential property 35 Hart Street to ensure that noise from inside the building will not be a problem.
“The majority of the mosque users came from the surrounding locality.”