Revealed: Ambitious expansion plans for Forest Gate Mosque
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 22 August 2018
A mosque in Forest Gate has revealed expansion plans which will give women a place to pray and improve facilities for the attached Islamic primary school.
The proposals for Forest Gate Mosque, will see the existing Imam Zakariyah Academy, an estate agent next door and neighbouring terrace house demolished and a four-storey place of worship and new primary school built on the site.
If approved the upgrades to the Romford Road site will mean women will have a prayer room and students will not have to share facilities with mosque visitors, according to documents submitted to Newham Council by The Bangladesh Muslim Shomity.
Two objectors have complained that the scheme will add to traffic in the area, especially during prayer times.
However, the applicants have insisted that they do not expect many new worshippers after the upgrades.
“New worshippers will be female and will generally be family members of existing school/mosque attendees or local residents,” an architect’s report notes.
“There is no proposed increase to the school capacity, staff or male worshippers.
“The new facilities will provide a female prayer area which will be very beneficial to female members of school staff.
“It is not expected that there will be a big uplift in mosque users with the female prayer space, as the mosque has advised that many women in their community choose to worship from home.”
The independent school currently has 99 pupils and was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted last year after inspectors found the facilitates were not up to scratch.
“Arrangements for checking some of the adults who come to the school lack rigour,” inspectors said.
“Furthermore, boys do not always have sole access to their toilets, as required by the independent school standards.”
Inspectors added that “teaching and learning in literacy, numeracy and Islamic studies are strong” at the academy.
One of the objectives of the mosque upgrade is to “remove shared facilities between mosque and school so the children have appropriate facilities to safeguard their needs”.
To see how the new mosque will look click here.
Residents can view and comment on the plans by clicking here until September 5.
The proposal will be discussed at a planning committee later this year