UK: Major redevelopment planned for Ahmadi Muslim group site in Farnham

Source: getsurrey.co.uk

Plans include a sports hall, two wind turbines and a new mosque for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) building

Artist's impression of redeveloped Islamabad site near Tilford, with the new mosque at its centre

Artist’s impression of redeveloped Islamabad site near Tilford, with the new mosque at its centre

A new mosque will form the centrepiece of a major redevelopment of a Muslim group’s base near Farnham, under plans submitted to Waverley Borough Council.

Islamabad, off Sheephatch Lane about a mile north of Tilford, has been a significant site of religious and educational instruction for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) for decades.

Since moving in during 1985, however, the association has made do with a series of hut-like buildings dating back to 1939 and which are deemed no longer fit for purpose.

Roughly 130 people currently live at Islamabad, which is the regional centre for the AMA, serving centres from Tilford to Oxford.

Under the current plans, nearly all the buildings currently standing at Islamabad, which are mainly one-storey high, will be replaced by one and two-storey buildings.

These include structures for administration, classrooms, a sports hall, and guest accommodation, including for guests.

Two minarets, capable of generating energy, are also planned.

A new assembly hall will also go up, should the council grant planning permission.

Some 30 car parking spaces will be added to the present total of 69.

David Harmer, who represents Waverley Western Villages on Surrey County Council, is enthusiastically supporting the plans.

“I think it is a very interesting design, with the mosque at the centre,” he said.

“At the moment it looks like a bunch of pre-fabs and is in need of redevelopment.

“I think they’ve made a decent job of the plan and I rather like it.”

Cllr Harmer said the association members at Islamabad lived very harmoniously alongside other Tilford and Farnham residents. “They are seriously good people,” he added.

“Their slogan is good will to all and hatred to none – they really live that, unlike a lot of people with slogans in religion.”.

Read more at getsurrey.co.uk

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