Muslims urge planners to approve mosque in Lincoln
MUSLIMS living in Lincoln have urged planners to approve proposals for a mosque and supermarket at a former dairy site.
A 451-signature petition has been submitted to the City of Lincoln Council along with scores of comments in favour of the plan, off Boultham Park Road and Dixon Street, Lincoln.
Several people said they will be walking or cycling to the mosque if it is approved.
This could mitigate fears the area will struggle to cope with increased traffic resulting from the development.
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City resident Zejd Sidini said: "I live near the Boultham Park Dairy site. This is great news for me and my family as we will use both the supermarket and mosque."
Architect Abd Lateef Bello, of Venables Way, Lincoln, said he had travelled to towns and cities of similar sizes to Lincoln, which had "beautiful religious centres catering for its citizens".
He said: "It is highly embarrassing that a big cosmopolitan town like Lincoln should still be debating such an issue despite calls for integration of community members."
But residents in the Boultham area are strongly opposing the development on noise, traffic, flooding and planning policy issues.
Alternatives suggested for the land include using it all for houses.
Concerns include the junction of Dixon Street and Boultham Park Road being unable to cope with extra vehicles.
Parking spaces for 140 vehicles are planned for Lidl and the mosque. Houses are also proposed for the site.
Councillor Kev Clarke, Lincolnshire County Council member for Boultham, suggested building new slip roads to improve access and traffic flow.
He said: "From Dixon Street bridge, you could form a slip road either side and move the path to the other side of the slip road. This way Dixon Street will act like a holding street for traffic."
The applicant, Lincolnshire Co-operative, is also being asked to provide more details for the proposal.
The Environment Agency said it will object as the application does not demonstrate the site is safe from a flood risk.
Kenneth Pratt, engineer to the Upper Witham Internal Drainage Board, asked for more information on sewer discharges and surface water run-off.
He said: "The site lies in an area considered to be at risk of flooding yet no mention is made of this by the applicant."
City council pollution control officer, Ian Wicks, also suggested noise and light pollution could be an issue for people living at any new houses built at the site. He is asking for more details on how this will be controlled.
A public consultation is closed, with the city council hopeful its planning committee will make a decision next month.
The Islamic Association Of Lincoln has been searching for a new permanent mosque for several years.
Rising numbers meant it needed to expand beyond a mosque in Orchard Street, Lincoln, with the Grandstand in Carholme Road becoming a temporary solution.
The group wanted to create a purpose-built mosque on the site of St Matthew's, an old tin church in Church Drive, off Boultham Park Road, which burned down in 2008.
Planners rejected the project in October 2009 after residents raised concerns about traffic problems and parking.