King’s Lynn: Islamic pub plan recommended for approval

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HUNDREDS of objections have been made to a proposed Islamic community centre.

West Norfolk planning committee is on Monday due to consider an application for the centre to open in Lynn’s former Queen’s Arms pub.

A report to the committee recommends approval of the plan subject to certain conditions. They include restricted opening hours, to avoid disturbance to neighbours, and submission of a travel plan to encourage walking to the centre and discourage users being “dropped off” in busy London Road.

West Norfolk Islamic Association wants to change the use of the pub to a venue for prayers, children’s studies, meetings and social gatherings to support about 80 Muslim families in the Lynn area.

Opposition to the plan included 140 letters and a 735-signature petition. Concerns raised included traffic congestion, loss of the pub, the lack of need for the centre and the impact on the surrounding conservation area.

Other fears included a lack of access for emergency vehicles, the centre becoming a target for vandalism and the effect on property prices.

The committee will hear that the application accords with council policy on community and culture and activities carried out would be quiet. Criticism based on the Islamic nature of the centre was not a valid planning objection.

If approved, the centre’s opening hours could be restricted to 7am to 11.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 10pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

After the application was submitted, the former pub was daubed with racist graffiti. A man is due to appear in court on Thursday.