Campaigners for Lincoln mosque now face challenge of raising £1m to build it
Victorious campaigners for Lincoln's first purpose-built Mosque now face the challenge of raising £1 million for the project.
The Islamic Association of Lincoln has won permission for the place of worship on the former dairy in Boultham Park Road after years of setbacks.
But Dr Tanweer Ahmed, trustee of the association, said there is still another major hurdle to overcome.
"The planning decision is very pleasing because we have waited a long time for this," he said.
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"We have completed one challenge but the second challenge is to start the fundraising.
"We are looking at £1 million and our target is to begin worshipping there in about two years' time.
"What we have planned is a fundraising dinner and other charitable events.
"At last, we have succeeded and we are very excited about that."
The two-storey building is to made from buff-coloured brick and will be topped by a 12-metre high, domed tower.
It will house a community hall and classroom and there will be 68 car parking spaces.
The main vehicle and pedestrian access to the site will be from Dixon Street and the highways authority has raised no objections to the plan.
Trees and landscaping around the boundary of the site will screen it from the surrounding area.
Conditions for the go-ahead include a developer contribution to the upgrading of the Dixon Street/Boultham Park Road junction pedestrian crossing, before work starts on site.
Development services manager at the City of Lincoln Council, Paul Seddon, said: "Planning committee members unanimously supported the scheme and they are pleased there is now permission for a mosque within the city.
"The architects have done a good job with the design and members felt the scale of the building was right for the site," he said.
"It has been a long process but the committee felt the Islamic association has ended up with the best site and the applicant is actively looking to work with residents in the neighbouring community and we wish them every success."
Jean Flannery, chairman of Boultham Residents' Association, which initially opposed the mosque plan, said: "Now that the mosque has full planning approval, I believe that it is more than time for us all to draw a line under the past and look to the future.
"We need to move forward together. Now, our joint task is to foster understanding and acceptance of one another.
"Misunderstandings may cause difficulties and anxieties but they can be corrected.
"We already live and work alongside one another.
" Individual and working relationships are the norm for many. We have our differences but we also share more similarities.
"By far the majority of us surely wish to live in harmony. To my mind the way to accomplish this is to develop and expand relationships to fully include the wider community, in which we all share."