‘The belief that a lovely traditional English town needs to become “more multicultural” is disturbing’, says Shrewsbury prayer centre opponent

A group of residents living close to a planned Muslim prayer centre in Shrewsbury have signed a petition calling for the proposal to be scrapped.

A total of 25 people living in Wenlock Road close to the former register office at Column Lodge in Preston Street have signed the petition, which has now been sent on to Shropshire Council. They are objecting to the plans on the grounds that the prayer centre would create additional traffic and cause problems with parking.

Shropshire Bangladesh Welfare Society bought the building from the council in a deal worth £215,000 and has applied for it to be turned into a prayer centre and community room. But the plans have split public opinion, with hundreds of people writing both in favour of, and in opposition to, the proposals.

One of the latest documents to be received is the petition, which was carried out by two residents. A letter attached to the signatures said: “Limitations at the time meant we were only able to visit properties of odd-numbered houses from the White Horse public house to Huxley Close, a total of 61 properties.

“Of this 61, 28 of the residents were out. However, at the remaining 33 properties, 25 of the residents were prepared to sign the petition, recording their disagreement with the proposal for reasons of increase in traffic and difficulties with parking.”

More than 460 comments have been received by the council so far during the public consultation period In the latest comments, Kate Singleton, supporting the bid, said: “Like other people have already pointed out this seems like a good and peaceful use of an empty building. Surely the issue of car parking is not insurmountable.”

But Amy Humphreys, one of the people opposing the plan, said: “After reading a number of the comments from those who support this plan, I’m now absolutely convinced that opposing it is the right thing to do. The belief that a lovely traditional English town needs to become ‘more multicultural’ is disturbing.”

Shropshire Star, 28 May 2013