PLANS to create a new Muslim school within a mill building in Daubhill have been approved.
Councillors agreed to give permission for the Islamic education facility to be built on the first-floor of the mill in High Street after a number of concerns previously raised by the planning committee were addressed.
The building is owned by the Bolton Muslim Welfare Trust, which runs the nearby Bolton Muslim Girls School.
The school will be used mainly between 3pm and 8pm, with wider use between 8am and 3pm during school holidays.
It will consist of a teaching room, a classroom, quiet study areas, stores, a hall area and a car park with six spaces.
The proposals for the teaching school came before the committee last month but councillors were worried about issues regarding the safety of children attending the building and the fact that other working practices take place in the ground floor of the building.
At yesterday’s committee meeting, members agreed that the concerns raised last month had been fully addressed.
Bromley Cross councillor Norman Critchley said: “My concerns were purely about safety and the applicant has answered all of my questions so I am happy to support this.”
His fellow Conservative councillor, Bob Allen, who represents Heaton and Lostock added: “I objected last time because of the potential risk to children due to the mixed use of the building.
“I have now been informed that there will be separate entrances for people and for vehicles, so while I am not 100 per cent happy with the mixed use, I am happy to support it.”
The dilapidated state of the first floor of the building means that the applicant is proposing to phase the refurbishment of the level by initially creating a classroom, quiet study areas a toilet block and a store area — with the second phase of refurbishment providing a teaching room before another classroom and hall are eventually added.
A spokesman for the applicant said: “This building is a heritage asset in Daubhill and it is crying out for investment and for it to be used by someone.
“I believe that this is a positive thing and the classes that are put on can help focus children away from anti-social activities.”