New home for city’s mosque

Some of the trees that have already been felled in the garden of the former Bishop's house in Dallas Road, Lancaster.
Some of the trees that have already been felled in the garden of the former Bishop's house in Dallas Road, Lancaster.
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LANCASTER’S Islamic Society hopes to move its mosque into a house where Lancaster’s Anglican bishops once lived.

The mosque is currently housed in Fenton Street, but the society wants to move into new premises in Dallas Road.

The building has been unused since former Lancaster canon Rev Peter Ballard moved out following the breakdown of his marriage in 2010.

The mosque’s Imam, Qasim Patel, said the Islamic Society had purchased the stone-built, detached property and hoped to submit a planning application for change of use to the city council later this year.

The society also has plans for further developments in the grounds of the house.

“If everything goes well we hope to move in there completely,” Mr Patel said.

“It will be a much bigger space for us as well as being safer for the children and it also has car parking space.”

Meanwhile, Lancaster City Council is looking into claims that protected trees have been cut down from the garden of the former Bishop’s house.

Preparation work began at the property and witnesses said two trees which were covered by Tree Preservation Orders were among those to be cut down as part of a garden clearance.

Mr Patel said the problem occurred as a result of miscommunication with a Polish workman.

They now plan to discuss the issue with the city council, but have offered to plant new trees.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware of unauthorised tree work being undertaken and are investigating the matter.”