Ely Muslims want to re-develop terraced house for £400,000 community centre

PUBLISHED: 09:14 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 30 October 2019

34 Broad Street Ely which could be home to the Ely Muslim Community if East Cambs Council grants planning permission for change of use and a rear extension. Picture; ECDC/GOOGLE

34 Broad Street Ely which could be home to the Ely Muslim Community if East Cambs Council grants planning permission for change of use and a rear extension. Picture; ECDC/GOOGLE

Archant

A decision is due shortly on whether Ely Muslims will be allowed to demolish a house in Broad Street to and build a £400,000 community centre.

34 Broad Street Ely which could be home to the Ely Muslim Community if East Cambs Council grants planning permission for change of use and a rear extension. Picture; ECDC/GOOGLE34 Broad Street Ely which could be home to the Ely Muslim Community if East Cambs Council grants planning permission for change of use and a rear extension. Picture; ECDC/GOOGLE

The two storey terraced house at 34 Broad Street is in a poor state of repair and has been flooded on at least two occasions, says the applicants.

The proposal is to build an enlarged property in two portions. It would become "a place for Ely Muslims and the general wider community to meet and exchange ideas and improve understanding, cohesion and integration", says the applicants.

It will also be a place "where we do our five daily prayers which are usually very brief; the only time we will need the centre for early hours is about three to four months of the year".

Trustees of the Muslim community said: "We believe that the Ely council and the Ely community are a forward thinking people and by granting us permission to use it for the prayer times will enable us to feel part of this community." It would improve "community cohesion" they added.

Fronting Broad Street will be a property in keeping with the street and with a two -bedroom flat.

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To the rear they plan two-storey extensions split into two halls with an office and kitchen at first floor level.

"The application seeks to demolish a dilapidated building and redevelop the site for a community centre for the Muslims in Ely," says a design note to East Cambs planners.

The centre, says the application, is essential for Muslims locally and will create a building "whose use will be a merit to Ely".

Among supporters is the Paradise Centre who has hosted the Ely prayer group for 18 years, mainly in their dance studio for Friday payers.

"They have always behaved with absolute respect for our facilities and the surrounding area," says the centre. "However our facilities are hardly ideal to support the group's customers and privacy during prayer".

Owners of a nearby property in Broad Street say they welcome the application although they expressed concern over impact of demolition and piling.

Fortune Garden says that with limited parking on Broad Street, the plans could affect their business. They fear "unwanted noise and disturbance" and also are concerned the value of their own property "will decrease".

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