Residents from the north Dublin suburb of Swords are trying to block the local Muslim community from establishing a prayer, cultural, and community centre at a site in the area.
Last month, Fingal County Council gave the go-ahead to Tariq Salahuddin for the change of use of the local postal sorting office to the prayer and cultural centre at the Green, off the Rathbeale Rd, Swords.
In a submission lodged on behalf of Mr Salahuddin to Fingal County Council, the centre is to cater for the estimated 300 Muslims who live in Swords. The submission stated that local Muslims currently rent rooms in local halls and hotels that act as venues for the celebration of their faith.
The submission stated that the new use of the building should result in a community gain.
However, a local businessman, Paul McDonald — backed by local residents — has appealed the council decision to An Bord Pleanála. Mr McDonald has no objection to any religious group in the area and would be supportive of their desire to provide a prayer, cultural, and community centre in the Swords area. “However, the proposed site is, in our view, totally unsuitable for the development given its location on a narrow sub-standard lane with inadequate parking spaces and a very dangerous sub-standard access point which is close to a busy junction on a major regional route,” the appeal says.
Fingal County Council gave the plan the go-ahead given the long-established commercial use of the site which would have generated significant levels of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
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