Community leaders told to apply for permission for Ipswich mosque
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Council officials have warned a community group they must apply for planning permission after discovering rooms over a shop were being used as a mosque.
Planning officials visited the site after being told the rooms that run above a number of shops near Ipswich town centre were being used as a mosque and community centre.
They discovered that some of the people there had been involved with an ill-fated project to redevelop the former Rose and Crown pub on the junction of Bramford Road and Norwich Road as a Kurdish Community Centre and mosque.
Those at the new centre were told that they would need to apply for planning permission to continue to use it as a mosque and community centre - even if it was for only a temporary period.
The exact location of the site has not been revealed but it is set to be monitored by the borough's planning enforcement officials.
Officials were told that the community would be hiring a planning consultant with a view towards applying for temporary retrospective planning permission to allow them to use the premises.
Members of the borough's planning and development committee will be told about the visit during their meeting next week.
The conversion work on the former Rose and Crown pub - which closed in 2011 - came to an abrupt halt in the autumn of 2017 after builders brought in from another part of the country were found to have removed load-bearing walls.
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Work had to stop because of the danger of collapse, and Bramford Road was closed for several weeks until emergency work to prevent further damage.
The former pub was eventually demolished by the borough in early 2020 after it took over the land and charged the former owners for the work.
There is no suggestion that there are any structural changes planned for the new premises - but the creation of a new community centre or place of worship does require specific planning permission and this new site is being monitored by enforcement officials from the borough's planning department.