Cambridge £15m mosque plans approved for Mill Road site

image captionArtist's impression of the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque to be built on Mill Road

Plans for Cambridge's first purpose-built mosque have been approved by the city council.

The £15m complex will be constructed on Mill Road and is expected to cater for up to 1,000 worshippers.

Residents expressed concern about parking and traffic congestion in the busy residential and shopping street.

However the Muslim Academic Trust, which submitted the plans, said car parking was included and many visitors would cycle or walk.

Last year, anonymous leaflets were posted through doors of houses close to the proposed site, urging people to object to the mosque on grounds of potential congestion.

'World-class landmark'

A spokesman for the city council said during the consultation period it received about 50 letters against the plans but more than 200 in support.

media captionThe £15m development will be on Mill Road

The Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque has been designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the company behind the London Eye and Kew Gardens' treetop walkway.

It includes a prayer hall, underground car parking for 80 vehicles, a restaurant and gardens.

It is hoped the building will help ease the lack of space at the current mosque on Mawson Road, where Muslims worship in shifts or have to pray in the street.

Tim Winter, chair of the Muslim Academic Trust, said: "We are absolutely delighted, not only for the Muslim community in Cambridge which has never had a dedicated mosque, but also for the wider community.

"This will be a very substantial world class landmark building in what is considered by some to be a down-at-heel part of Cambridge."

A date for building work to start on the site has yet to be decided.

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