OSWESTRY will get its first Muslim centre after Shropshire planners approved plans to transform a former Presbyterian church.
The 19th Century building will provide a permanent home to the Oswestry Muslim Society for the first time in its ten-year history.
It comes despite divisions in the local community that saw over 40 letters of support for the scheme met with more than 50 objections plus a leaflet and video campaign spurred by the far-right British National Party.
Previously, George Miah, Chief Adviser of the society, said the organisation hoped to build bridges and gain better understanding in the community through the facility.
The £300,000 project will see the building, which is currently a furniture store, converted into a place for meeting and worship. Work will include internal alterations and the creation of a single, one-bedroom, residential unit.
Officers stated: “The proposed use is appropriate for the building and the site in terms of its location, and relationship with surrounding land uses and, subject to appropriate conditions, will not cause any significant adverse impact on any interests of acknowledged importance.”
They also said an archaeological report must take place before work commences to record “any features of archaeological significance”.