A million-pound mosque could soon be built in Perth — four years after the proposals sparked street protests from right-wing extremists.
Perth Islamic Society’s new mosque and community centre on Jeanfield Road has been given the green light by council planning officers.
A similar plan was approved some years ago but permission lapsed and the latest, more detailed plans, were submitted at the end of last year.
When the plans were first mooted in 2017, the Scottish Defence League staged a major protest in the city centre.
The march was met by a bigger counter protest of about 400 people from anti-fascist groups.
Dozens of police officers, some on horseback, were called in to attend.
Previous plans were also shelved after complaints from nearby residents about parking and congestion.
According to the latest proposals, the centre’s design will reflect the group’s Scottish and Islamic roots.
A planning statement from Perth Islamic Society says the facility will be a major boost to Perth Muslims as well as any community groups looking for a space to use.
‘Enhanced place of worship for community’
It states: “The main purpose of the building is to provide enhanced place of worship facilities for the community, enabling both males and females to attend all the prayers.
“There will also be afternoon classes to teach Quran, currently 1.5 hours Monday to
Thursday, for the families who would like their young ones to do so.
“The basement part of the building is planned as a community centre. This will enable activities to take place on site.
“Furthermore, the centre facilities would be offered when possible, to other community [groups].
“The new larger premise, which enables a larger group of Muslims to gather, would offer Perth and Kinross Community Health Partnership an increased opportunity for enhanced communication amongst the Muslim community.”
Five prayers per day
There will be five prayers per day – in the morning, at lunchtime, in mid-afternoon, in late afternoon and in the evening.
Between 10 and 15 people will attend each prayer session, but it is anticipated that the Friday lunch time prayer session will be attended by 100 to 120 people.
There will also be two festive activities every year – the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and Hajj, which is usually 10 weeks after Ramadan.
There is to be no music within the premises or any other potential sources of noise.
Perth Islamic Society has not responded to requests for comment.