Plans for the site of Skegness’ first mosque – which was targeted by an arson attack earlier this year – are set to be approved.
The plans by Skegness Central Mosque Group include a community centre, with four self-contained flats above, which will be built next to the former Methodist chapel on Roman Bank.
The developers say the residential aspect will help pay for the upkeep of the centre, which will include wash-rooms, a kitchen, a body room and a main hall.
Recommending approval, planning officers say the site “can benefit from a mixed use redevelopment introducing a community centre for a minority group whilst also provides low cost housing along the coast in a highly accessible location.”
More than 70 people have submitted representation to the council ahead of the meeting, including 58 objections and 16 supporters.
Those in support said the move would redevelop “derelict site which is an eyesore” and would be a benefit to all faiths including the Muslim community.
However, those objecting to the plans say they are concerned about the impact on traffic including congestion on Roman Bank and inadequate parking leading to an overspill into residential areas.
On Sunday, October 6, around 45 firefighters attended a fire at the two-storey derelict building the facility was hoped to replace.
The incident was later said by police to be arson and carried out as a hate crime and an investigation was launched.
On November 19, police issued CCTV footage of a man they wished to trace as their investigations continued.
No arrests have yet been made and enquiries are ongoing.
Skegness Central Mosque (SCM) was set up in 2015. The group’s goal is to provide people with an area of worship, education, communal gatherings and events.
In order to support the plans, it launched a fundraising campaign which had a £337,000 target and before being taken offline had raised £152,140 – enough to purchase the land.
Anyone with information regarding the arson attack is asked to contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 quoting 19000533449.
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