Fresh plans have been lodged for a million-pound mosque that previously prompted hate-fuelled protests on the streets of Perth.
The city’s Islamic Society has tabled a new bid for a place of worship on Jeanfield Road.
It is hoped that the new centre, with a design that reflects the group’s Scottish and Islamic roots, will accommodate the area’s growing Muslim population.
A previous attempt to build a mosque on the same site in 2017 led to a demonstration by the Scottish Defence League – a self-described far right movement – who attempted to stir up hatred against the project.
However, the group’s city centre demo in September 2017 was considerably dwarfed by a counter-protest by anti-fascism groups from around the country.
The Perth Against Racism said the demonstrations showed widespread support for the Mosque plan.
“The community in Perth made it loud and clear that the divisions of the SDL are not welcome here,” a spokeswoman said. “There was a tremendous show of support for the local mosque and the Muslim community and that support still stands.”
She added: “I hope that we do not see the return of the SDL. They are not wanted or needed here in Perth.
“We wish our Muslim friends good luck with the start of the new mosque which will give them a fantastic new place of worship and a place to spend time with their friends and families.”
The Scottish Defence League said it was upset because Perth and Kinross Council officers approved the 2017 plans “behind local residents’ backs”.
However, approval lapsed in May and a second, more detailed set of plans now need to be rubber-stamped.
Despite the SDL’s outrage there was only a handful of objections to the original plan, with some questioning the impact on traffic.
Perth Islamic Society, which has spent the last three years fundraising and finalising a design, said there are now around 650 members of the local Muslim community.
The group is growing out of its current base, about 200 yards away on Glasgow Road.
“The main purpose of the building is to provide enhanced place of worship facilities for the community, enabling both male and female to attend all the prayers,” a spokesman said. “Prayer sessions are to be morning, lunchtime, mid-afternoon and evening, with 10 to 15 persons attending each prayer session.
“However, it is anticipated that the Friday luchtime prayer will be attended by 100 to 120 people.”
The mosque will be used for the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and at the time of Hajj, usually 10 weeks later.
The basement will be used as a community centre, with facilities offered up to other community groups.
The society spokesman said the new mosque could also improve communication between the Perth and Kinross Community Health Partnership and the city’s Muslin community.
It could also be used by local schools for visits, to learn more about Islam.
Planners are expected to rule on the development in the coming weeks.