A new community centre and flats may be built at the site of a mosque in Oxford.

A three-storey building which would include a new community centre and house four one-bedroom studio flats could be built on Stanley Road.

The annex, which is to the rear of the Madina Mosque, has not been used for four years and the proposed building would be a similar form to the existing building.

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The new community centre would provide more space for children’s activities, as it is understood these are already taking place in the mosque but are oversubscribed.

However, neighbours who live close by on Stanley Road have expressed fears the new centre will lead to issues with parking; especially as more children will be dropped off.

Writing on the planning portal, Miss Jackie Ingram, who lives on Stanley Road, wrote: “The proposal to extend the use of the community space particularly for children's activities adds to existing concerns about road safety and the stresses on parking because there will be more traffic bringing children to and from the site.”

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The Oxford Mail recently reported that leaders at Oxford’s mosques had called on the council to allow worshippers to relax parking restrictions for a grace period of at least one hour on Fridays due to difficulties with parking.

Thomas Murfitt, who also lives on Stanley Road, raised similar concerns on the planning portal, as he described parking as a “serious issue” and said those visiting the mosque “frequently block the drives”.

Mr Murfitt said the community centre, if approved, would bring “additional traffic” which was a “risk to children and elderly residents of the street”.

In May, a letter was sent to the city council on behalf of Oxford Civic Society which expressed concerns about the proposed development.

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It stated: “The absence of any transport plan is serious given the existing parking problems and the likely generation of increased traffic this would create in the narrow confines of Stanley Road.”

City councillor Emily Kerr told the Oxford Mail: “The Madina Mosque is on the same road as a nursery, so it is just important they have an established travel plan.

“I’m confident the Mosque is supportive of people walking and cycling.”

Ms Kerr said she was supportive of the plans for a new centre as long as adherence was kept to the planning constraints.

She said: “I think with the right plans to avoid dangers to children from too many cars then in general I’m very supportive of creating new places for the community to get together.”

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Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

He joined in the team in February 2023, after completing a History undergraduate degree at the University of York and studying for his NCTJ diploma in London.

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