Plans to build a new £1 million mosque in York have been approved by York City Council.
The York Mosque and Islamic centre submitted the plans to the council earlier this month, after their first draft was rejected by the Environment Agency due to concerns over flooding.
Faizal Mohamudbuccu, Treasurer of York Mosque said: “We have been hoping and praying for this for so long it is such a relief to know that all the hard work has paid off.”
He said: “This project has been in the works for about five years now so when the original architects’ plans were rejected it was a real knockback and a bit of shock for us.”
The new mosque will replace the existing one on the Bull Lane site, which has been used for the last 25 years and is now too small.
The new design will accommodate up to 600 worshipers and also includes an interfaith room, which will allow locals, school groups, and religious groups to visit the mosque.
Mr. Mohamudbuccu said the redefined plans were adapted to make the centre more suitable and friendly for the whole community.
He said: “We wanted to make the new building environmentally friendly so we have included solar panels on the building along with two small minarets because we want the new mosque to last for the next 50 to 60 years.”
The approved design was also scaled down from three storeys high to two from the original plans.
Mr. Mohamudbuccu also said there would be space for children and adults to socialise with a pool table and an area to play football.
He said: “The building is there so people have the facilities to complete their religious tasks but we want it to have a real community centre feel to it and it is open to all, Muslim or not.”
He said the mosque committee has scheduled a meeting in the next week to discuss fundraising ideas and he hoped their first event would be a charity dinner.
Chief Executive of York City Council, Kersten England said: “I am delighted that Muslim residents and visitors will have a fitting place in which to gather and worship in York.”
Mr. Mohamudbuccu said: “We have an exciting couple of years ahead of us even though there is still a lot of hard work to do and sacrifices to make I am proud to be a part of this project.”