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UK billionaire brothers’ mega mosque plan gets council’s nod

It's going to be an impressive community facility and can only enhance the spirit of the town itself, Councillor Phil Riley said

Saturday March 20, 2021 11:46 AM, ummid.com News Network

Blackburn Mosque

[Issa brothers - Mohsin and Zuber Issa, are founder and co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and forecourts retailer. (Image: Supplied)]

London: Plans by Mohsin and Zuber - the British Muslim brothers - popularly known as UK billionaire brothers, to build a “landmark” mosque in North West England have been approved by the local authorities.

The £5 million ($6.9 million) project to build a mosque in Blackburn by the billionaire siblings had faced objections over the height of its minarets and the noise it may have caused, Arab News reported Saturday citing the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Issa brothers - Mohsin and Zuber Issa, are founder and co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and forecourts retailer, headquartered in Blackburn, UK. Their parents had moved to the UK from Gujarat in the 1970s.

The Indian-origin billionaire had hit the headlines in October last when they bought from retail giant Walmart Inc its UK unit Asda.

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The brothers planned to build the mega mosque on the site where once Westholme School stood in Blackburn and approached the local council for the approval. The project however hit the roadblock after as many as 21 objections were raised by some of the members.

Issa brothers have now replied to all objections following which the council's planning committee gave its approval to the mega project.

Besides, the Issa Foundation has also agreed to pay £30,000 to improve safety at a nearby junction and employ parking marshals to reduce road safety risks.

While granting the approval for the project, planning manager Gavin Prescott said the proposed 95ft (29m) towers were "typical of Islamic architecture".

"The towers are considered to frame the surrounding area with the existing church towers associated with St Silas Church and Sacred Heart Church," the BBC quoted Gavin as saying.

Prescott further said that noise would be limited with no amplified calls to prayer and nearby trees on Preston New Road would be protected.

Also Read | From bottom of social ladder to top – The story of Muslims in Britain

Commenting on the latest development, Phil Riley, the council's lead on regeneration, said it was "going to be no ordinary mosque".

"It's going to be an absolutely landmark building at a very important gateway," he said.

"With its Islamic architecture, it obviously reflects the changing face of modern Blackburn... and this will show Blackburn in the new light of a place where there is diversity, but also where communities mix”, he added.

"It's going to be an impressive community facility and can only enhance the spirit of the town itself”, he said.

 

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