Optimism over new Lincoln mosque plans

The Boultham Dairy site, where the mosque could be located

A senior member of the Islamic Association of Lincoln (IAL) said he has “no doubt” that the latest plans to build a mosque in Lincoln will be succesful.

Dr Tanweer Ahmed of the IAL told The Lincolnite that the process of finding a suitable space to build a mosque in the city has been “very frustrating as we have been waiting a long time and spent a lot of money”.

He added that the prospect of finally having a permanent place of worship in the city is “very exciting” for the Islamic community. Local Muslims currently have to worship in the old grandstand on Carholme Road.

IAL’s quest to build a mosque in Lincoln has suffered many setbacks in recent years. An old church it purchased on Church Drive in the Boultham area was set to be converted to a mosque back in 2008, but was burnt down.

Then the IAL’s plans to build a mosque on the land where the church stood were rejected in 2009 amid local residents’ complaints about potential traffic issues.

An appeal against this decision was rejected in August 2010, leaving the IAL back at square one.

On June 17 Lidl announced it would move from St Marks to Boultham Park, the site of the old dairy. The supermarket said half of the land could be used for community purposes.

This was identified as a suitable area for the IAL to build a mosque and have submitted plans. City of Lincoln Council is now in consultation about the new proposals.

Some residents have fresh concerns over potential traffic and parking problems in the area of the proposed new mosque.

Dr Ahmed insisted that these problems have been solved as there will be 70 car parking spaces, four times more than in the previous proposed location, adding that the IAL “doesn’t want to inconvenience the residents”.

“We looked at about 10 sites and this one was the best,” he said.

Good public transport links also make the site ideal and it would be easy for local Muslim residents and students to get to the mosque.

Though Dr Ahmed is “quite optimistic” that the new plans will be accepted, should they be rejected he said the IAL will “continue to work constructively and positively” in its search for a permanent place of worship.

Photo: Kelly Moore for The Lincolnite