Protests mount over ‘Muslim Community Centre’ in Haughton Green
Tuesday 16th February 2016 @ 12:13 by Lee Wild
News

Plans to transform the former Methodist Church building on Two Trees Lane in Haughton Green into a Muslim religious education and community centre have been met with protests by local people.

Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne and councillors Mike Fowler, Claire Reid and also George Newton met with the new owners to discuss their intentions for the 205-year-old building.

The new owners say that the building will be used twice a week for religious and educational use, as well as being available for hire as a community centre.

No planning permission is required for the site as its intended use falls within the current permissions.

The news hasn’t been welcomed by everybody, with over 1,200 people signing a petition on Change.org entitled ‘NO to a mosque in Haughton Green (Denton)’ in just four days.

However the building is not set to be used as a mosque and will only be used for religious education twice a week.

Many comments on the petition mention the lack of parking available at the site as one of the main concerns.

Currently when the church opposite is used for events, the car park fills up quickly and people park in front of houses on Two Trees Lane and Sunningdale Road, leading to traffic chaos on already congested roads.

The new owners have promised to talk to the Methodist Church to see how the car park across the road can be used.

However councillors have also suggested that a residents’ only parking scheme be implemented in the area to ensure local residents are guaranteed parking outside their own homes.

Local people are also concerned about the external appearance of the building, and disturbance of the graves.

The trees cannot be removed as they are protected by a tree protection order and there are promises that the graves will not be disturbed.

Prospective Denton South councillor George Newton has been following the proposals closely and said: “It is extremely unusual for a Muslim Community and Prayer Centre to be opened in Haughton Green when no Muslim community exists.

“I have spoken with hundreds of residents who rightly have many concerns about this – I am liaising with local councillors, officers and the MP’s office to work out how we can deal with the parking, traffic and noise issues and the ramifications of this beautiful and historic building no longer being available to the community.”