Birmingham’s Khoja Shia Centre planning a £7.5 million mosque project

Mosque-Moseley-2

A major redevelopment to build a new mosque and community hub in Balsall Heath is due to receive the go-ahead from city planners.

Birmingham’s KSIMC (Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim) charity is planning to spend £7.5 million on the project at the site of the current Clifton Mosque just off the A435 Alcester Road.

It wants to redevelop the site to include a new funeral home, sports centre, shop and apartments.

The existing single storey worship hall, known as the Imambara, will be demolished and replaced with a grand three-storey building.

The linked mosque will be remodelled and extended and topped with a hollow gold dome and minaret.

The wider development also includes the demolition of the former Mr Clutch garage and construction of a new community sports hall in its place with facilities for volleyball, badminton, five-a-side football, gym and a café.

KSIMC is also planning to construct a three-storey building fronting Moseley Road, with a ground floor shop and flats above, and a funeral home fronting Clifton Road.

The three-storey school and nursery, which was built in 1838, will be kept although some internal modifications are proposed.

A total of 29 objections were lodged with Birmingham City Council over the proposals, including issues with traffic and parking, impact on the skyline and one suggesting it would “look like a prison”.

Ten comments in favour of the development were also submitted, saying a larger hall was needed at busy times such as Ramadan and praising job creation and the diverse range of facilities.

The KSIMC community has been based in Birmingham since 1972 and it built the existing mosque in 1980.

A report, prepared for the council’s planning committee meeting, said: “The proposed development would provide a focal point for the local community.

“It would build upon existing facilities in a neighbourhood centre location.

“As well as providing larger, improved and better quality facilities for the local community, the proposed developments would support the local centre and help to regenerate the surrounding area.

“The proposals are considered acceptable and would be unlikely to detrimentally impact on local occupiers in terms of noise, disturbance or loss of light.

“The proposals have been designed to enhance the character and appearance of the area (and) it is unlikely there would be any detrimental impact on the free flow of traffic or highway safety, subject to safeguarding conditions.”

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