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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 12:57 GMT
Approval given to extend mosque
Permission has been given for a mosque in Suffolk to be extended.

The Ipswich mosque, which has occupied a former fire station in Bond Street since the 1980s, is to be extended into neighbouring Upper Orwell Street.

With the mosque full, the community had been forced to pray in a car park at Friday prayers, said Mahbub Alam Shamim, mosque chairman.

The expansion plans have been approved by Ipswich Borough Council and work is to begin in six months.

Old shops will be converted in the extension, with the long-term plan a complete overhaul of the mosque site once 750,000 has been raised.

Mr Shamim told BBC News: "We have struggled for many, many years, especially on a Friday, with up to 550 people coming to our mosque.

"We've been praying in the car park regardless of weather conditions, come rain or snow, so it's wonderful news for the whole community."

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