A Preston pub which has stood empty for five years could become a new school for blind Muslim children.Advertisement
The Acregate on New Hall Lane, St Matthews, has seen plans lodged by the Al Qalam Tarbiyah Centre.
Plans by the AZH Consultancy say a lack of provision for disabled Muslims inspired the idea for the school.
They write: “Although the education system funded by the Government is well equipped to provide for both able-bodied and disabled children with comparable standards of education, unfortunately community funded religious schools have not yet developed to the same point.
“Lacking in funding, Arabic schools have focused on providing for the majority and possibly bypassing those in greatest need of faith and belief, who undoubtedly have the greatest commitment towards the afterlife and less on a materialistic existence in this life.
“It is that realisation which has pulled Preston’s Muslim community together and raised sufficient funds to allow the purchase and conversion of this site dedicated to providing facilities for blind Muslims.”
Previous plans to turn the pub into a community centre and a restaurant were both turned down due to parking problems in the area.
AZH say the school use would see 28 evening return trips to the area compared to 60 if the building was used as a restaurant.
The school is also proposing to have an attendant stationed at their service yard between 4.30pm to 5pm for drop-off and between 5.40pm and 6pm and agai at 7.10pm and 7.30pm to supervise pick-ups of children.
It is not know how the plans work with the new Fishwick and St Matthews area plan as voted for by local residents, but the Acregate pub is listed as a community asset – which restricts its uses.
The full plans are available to view on the city council website.
Anyone wishing to comment can so on the council website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 06/2015/0084 by Wednesday 4 March.
Do you live in the area? What do you think about the plans? Let us know in the comments below