Former city pub to be used as temporary mosque

The King Edward VII pub on Aylsham Road, Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The King Edward VII pub on Aylsham Road, Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Permission has been granted for a former city pub to be used as a temporary mosque and community centre by a local Islamic group.

The East Anglian Bangladeshi Islamic Trust has been fundraising to build a £1m mosque behind the former King Edward VII pub on Aylsham Road in Norwich.

Work has started on the site and the trust was granted planning permission to change the use of the former pub into a community centre and café in 2017.

However, with work to build the new mosque likely to take time, the group has been left in need of somewhere to worship in the meantime.

As a temporary measure, the trust applied to Norwich City Council to use the former pub building as a community centre and place of worship, allowing its members to fulfil their prayer needs until the mosque itself is complete.

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This permission has now been granted by planning officers at City Hall, who used delegated authority to give the proposal the go ahead.

The decision means that for the next five years, trust members can make use of the existing building as a place of worship and a community centre, after which time it will revert back to a café and community centre.

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The King Edward VII was previously known to be popular with bikers and rock music fans, regularly hosting live music performances before closing down in December 2014.

In December 2015, it received a nomination as an asset of community value, before permission was granted to change it into a community centre and café in June 2017.

Planning papers submitted with the application add that members of any religion will be welcome make use of the centre for prayer.

Once built, the mosque itself will include a prayer hall, kitchen and cloakrooms on the first floor.

The former pub building, which was built in 1902 and is listed, will not be demolished as part of the project.

A spokesman for the East Anglian Bangladeshi Islamic Trust did not wish to comment at this time.

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