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Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 17:59 UK

Row over house used for prayers

The hafod Muslim Welfare Association
Councillors heard the house had been used for payer meetings for 20 years

A Bangladeshi community is expected to win a fight to continue using a terraced house in Swansea for prayers.

The Hafod Muslim Welfare Association has gathered at Odo Street for 20 years but does not have planning permission.

A Swansea council committee said it should be granted after receiving a petition from 211 people supporting it.

There was a second 132-signature petition opposing it on the grounds it could cause traffic problems and disturbance to neighbours.

Swansea council's planning department had recommended the welfare association's application be refused.

The building has consent for use as a centre for the teaching of the Koran but not as a place of worship.

Hafod Councillor Rob Speht told fellow councillors that the association had been using the end of terrace house for prayers for around 20 years.

"There will be no more additional impact if this is granted planning permission - it will be effectively the status quo that has existed," he added.

Councillors have now recommended the full planning committee grants planning consent - possibly subject to a number of conditions - when it meets in November.

Speaking outside the meeting, association chairman Foyzul Bari said "We are very pleased with that."

He said the building served a 600-strong Bangladeshi community living in Hafod and was also used for teaching.

During the 20 years it had been running he said they had not been aware of any complaints.



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