Australia: Work on Narrabundah mosque could start next year

 

By Andrew Brown
11 November 2018

 

The ACT government confirmed a site in Narrabundah was chosen for the mosque
It ends a five-year search for a site for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association

The association says a DA could be submitted as early as January

Mosques have previously been proposed in Rivett and Hume

Construction could begin on Canberra’s newest mosque in Narrabundah as early as the first half of next year.

Speaking at the Economic Development Directorate annual reports hearing earlier this week, community services minister Chris Steel said the Ahmaddiya Muslim Association had been offered a block of land near the Narrabundah ball park for the place of worship, pending development application approval.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Association ACT president Khalid Syed said the mosque could be approved as early as January.

Credit:
Jay Cronan

The decision comes after a five-year search by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association for a site in Canberra for a dedicated facility.
Mr Steel said the site neighbours the Spanish-Australian Club, the Best Western hotel and the Narrabundah ball park area.

“They’re now in the process of developing a development application, and once the DA is approved, the direct sale [of the block] will be concluded and they’ll be able to start construction,”Mr Steel said.

“They’re pretty pleased it’s coming to a conclusion.”

While the government wouldn’t put a timeframe on the development, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association’s ACT president Khalid Syed said he hoped to submit the development application by January, with work to begin shortly after approval.

“Progress has been a bit slow, because we’re a charitable community and our workers are all volunteers, and there’s a lot of back and forth between us and offices in Sydney,” Mr Syed said.

“There are some fine tunings to be done and then the plan has to then be approved by the Ahmaddiya national office Sydney and the global office in the UK.”

The proposed mosque is expected to be similar in style to those already built in NSW and Queensland, but smaller in scale.
The mosque would include space for more than 100 worshippers and a car park.

Sustainability and Built Environment deputy director-general Geoffrey Rutledge said the ball was now in the court of the Ahmadiyya association.

“We’re working with them to make sure the site is suitable for the various coming and goings and to also maintain the ball park, which is a growing spectator sport, so we think we’ve got the right site for them,” Mr Rutledge said.

“Most direct sales of land are provided on formal applications and they’ve had a couple of discussions with us.”

A mosque was first planned to be built near the Rivett shops in March 2014, but those plans were abandoned following concerns from residents and nearby store owners.

A site in Hume was then proposed by the government in 2015, but the Land Development Agency said it wasn’t suitable.

Temporary locations have been set up for prayer services in the Griffin Centre and a shopfront in Fyshwick.

Ahmadiyya Muslims are considered controversial in the Islamic world due to beliefs that other denominations regard as heretical.
Those in the religious denomination have been persecuted overseas, while Ahmadis have been declared non-Muslims in Pakistan.

Mr Syed said he doesn’t expect there to be community concerns for the site in Narrabundah.

“We’re not worried about that at all, there’s been no opposition to the plan,” he said.
“This is a different location and there is plenty of room around and no disturbances to people nearby.”

source:

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/work-on-narrabundah-mosque-could-start-next-year-20181107-p50eim.html

Ahmadiyya Muslim Association ACT president Khalid Syed said the mosque could be approved as early as January.

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