Blacktown Council rejects prayer hall application, moves to shut down Prospect Musallah

Blacktown Council rejected an application to replace this ageing building with an official Muslim prayer hall. Picture: Exotic Tariq
Blacktown Council rejected an application to replace this ageing building with an official Muslim prayer hall. Picture: Exotic Tariq

Blacktown Council has rejected an application for a Muslim prayer hall on Blacktown Road.

The council claimed the site, identified as Prospect Musallah, is currently being used as an unauthorised place of worship.

Council inspectors claimed up to 100 people enter the building around noon each Friday – more than the maximum of 70 in the development application.

The occupants applied to demolish the existing building and build a two-storey prayer hall, complete with a library and kitchen.

An artist impression of the proposed prayer hall. Picture: SIA Designarch

An artist impression of the proposed prayer hall. Picture: SIA Designarch

A council report claimed the application was in response to letters attempting to shut down the unauthorised site.

More than 200 residents signed a petition opposing the application, and 22 wrote to the council to express their concerns.

The council noted issues with the application including traffic issues with the site’s proximity to a busy roundabout and the Great Western Highway, a lack of room for overflow parking, and the unsuitability of a prayer hall in a low density residential zone.

The official report noted Blacktown Council “welcomes and embraces religious diversity”.

“There are numerous authorised churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship operating across our city in a manner which does not adversely affect local neighbourhood amenity,” it stated.

“Many places of worship are located in rural or industrial areas, as larger sites in these zones can more readily handle on-site parking and traffic.”

The council will now resume the legal process of shutting down the unauthorised site of worship, which could require a court order through the Land and Environment Court.

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