New building for Purley Mosque green-lit

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A CGI of the approved Purley Mosque plans.
Benedict O'Looney Architects

A busy mosque in Purley is celebrating after plans for a new six-storey home were given the green light.

The mosque in Whytecliffe Road has been up and running since 2015, attracting more than 300 people each week for Friday prayers.

By the second week it was oversubscribed and had to start running two sessions of up to 180 people each.

Trustee Waqar Ahmed said: “At the first session we are at more than capacity because we don’t have a large hall – it means we end up filling up the main hall as well as the alleyway and store room.

“Because it is so busy we don’t allow women to come on Fridays which is so unfair because half of the community is female.

“In our religion men have to go to Friday prayers but it is optional for women.

“It has been like that for a couple of years and we decided we need to build something that can accommodate the community so we can all pray together.”

The new building will include teaching rooms, a conference room and prayer hall as well as three studio flats on the fourth floor which will be rented out to provide an income for the mosque.

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(Image: A few worshippers at the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque complex in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca. Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)