Islamic trust plans to open religious centre in Healey

The Healey Mills complex, in Healey Lane, Batley.
The Healey Mills complex, in Healey Lane, Batley.
  • Healey Islamic Trust agrees to buy mills complex for £450k
  • Trust plans to turn two commercial units into religious education centre with prayer facilities
  • Report to planning committee reccomends approval

An Islamic religious education centre with prayer facilities and a car park could open in Healey if proposals are approved by council planners.

Healey Islamic Trust has agreed to buy the Healey Mills Complex for £450,000 and has applied to change the use of the site from commercial units to religious facilities.

Currently there are no facilities in Healey which results in residents having to drive to other areas.

But objectors have raised concerns that the proposals would mean that seven small businesses, which currently lease the Healey Lane site, would be forced to close.

A report to Kirklees Council’s Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee on Friday recommends the proposals be conditionally approved.

Shakir Passwala, secretary of Healey Islamic Trust, said: “Currently there are no facilities within the Healey area which results in residents having to drive to other areas.

“We will only be use two of the units, we’ve spoken to tenants already and the other leases will continue.”

A petition objecting to the plans with 78 signatures has been submitted to the council.

But another petition, in support of the application, was backed by 168 people.

The trust has also applied to convert the current hand car wash at the complex into a car park for the centre.

A report to the planning sub-committee said the current car wash on the site was “busy, noisy and untidy” and that the plans would improve living conditions and highway safety for residents.

Objectors also raised concerns that the trust planned to carry out a “second phase” as part of the plans, where it would demolish the site in the future and build a mosque.

But Mr Passwala said plans for a mosque related to a previous project in 2013. He said the cash to buy the site will be raised by the community and if the plans are approved, the trust hopes to complete the purchase within six months.

­Healey Islamic Trust has suggested the proposed religious education centre and prayer facilities will bring the following benefits to the area:

• A reduction in traffic at other mosques in Batley at peak times because there are currently no Islamic prayer facilities in Healey.

• A positive impact on the environment as most people will cycle or walk to the centre.

• Develop interfaith relations and activities in the area

• Promote community cohesion and integration in Healey among children and adults.