Expansion plans for a Madrasah in suburban Rotherham are being recommended for approval by councillors despite concerns raised by objectors that the building will end up looking out of character in a street of 1930s houses.
Planning permission has already been approved for ground and first floor extensions at the Madrasah Raza-E-Mustafa and Cultural Centre in Broom Lane at Broom, but the new plans would see a slight increase in floor space, different window designs and the addition of an ornamental parapet to the roof, which would stand 2.5 metres taller than the general roof line and which is described as “dome” shaped in the report to councillors.
Sixteen objections to the plans have been submitted to the council, including a complaint that the building would be out of keeping with the character of existing properties in the area and that planning applications for homes in the district have been rejected on those grounds.
The report also states an objection is that the “dome addition would look odd at this suburban location.”
Fears of the impact on traffic have also been raised, on what is described as a congested road where buses and large vehicles can already struggle to pass.
However, there have been 79 submissions made to the council supporting the plans, including one from MP Sir Kevin Barron, making points including that places of worship should not look like domestic homes and that there are no parking issues.
Most of those who attend live within walking distance and the Madrasah has an arrangement with a nearby Methodist church to use their carpark for those attending Friday prayers.
A report by planning officers states: “The current building is flat roofed and single storey with little architectural merit.
“It is considered that the proposed redevelopment of the site will improve the overall visual appearance as the proposal would increase the ground floor area by providing small extensions to the side and provide a first floor extension over the front part of the building.
“The front elevation will be completely changed by the proposal and the design does incorporate ornamental window detailing with a parapet wall feature that is not residential in character.
“Bearing in mind that buildings on Broom Lane are formed of different architectural styles for various uses and the building is to be functioned as a community facility, it is considered that the architectural detailing of the building is not overly bulky and intrusive which would not result in a detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the area.”
Councillors are being recommended to approve the proposals when they meet on Thursday.