Lockyer Valley mosque plans under way

The Lockyer Valley Islamic Association has purchased land at 225 Woodlands Rd with plans to build a community centre.
The Lockyer Valley Islamic Association has purchased land at 225 Woodlands Rd with plans to build a community centre. Contributed

THE Lockyer Valley's Islamic Association hopes to move ahead with plans to build a community centre on a rural block of land in Gatton, despite not yet lodging an application to the council.

The purpose-built mosque would replace the association's current centre which has been operating out of the back of the Gatton Halal Grocers in North St since 2013.

The Lockyer Valley Community Centre Appeal was created last year and is still running, with a public letter written by the association seeking financial help to make the project a reality.

The new facility would be large enough for the valley's about 300 person Muslim community made up mainly of recent migrants and refugees from Burma, Bangladesh and Sudan as well as students and seasonal workers.

"We have been trying to establish a permanent community centre for our fledgling community, to ensure that new migrants and their families are able to practice and maintain our Deen, during these very difficult times," the letter stated.

"Last year (2015) we submitted an application for a 'community centre' on a property in town. The application was made with the full support of the Local Council Planning department, and we complied with all their requirements, and during this process spent almost $25,000 in costs. Unfortunately, the application was unjustifiably declined."

The association bought a one-acre block of land at 225 Woodlands Rd in June last year for $250,000, following objections from some residents about its current location, with objections made to the council.

Lockyer Valley Islamic Association spokesman Dr Mohammed Sultan said they had made no further progress with the planning of the centre, but were still wanting to build it after going through planning and legal requirements.

A spokesman from Lockyer Valley Regional Council confirmed no application to build the community centre had been made to its planning department, despite the property being settled on June 7.

The Woodland's Rd property currently has a three-bedroom timber home, zoned as industrial.

Topics:  gatton lockyer valley mosque toowoomba

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