Mosque proposal to be assessed by Lithgow City Council

DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Lithgow City Council has not began assessing an application to use a house as a place of worship for the public.
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Lithgow City Council has not began assessing an application to use a house as a place of worship for the public.

Lithgow City Council has received a development application for a residence at 53 Ferro Street to be used as a public place of worship. Currently the residence is listed on google maps and the ‘Go Pray!’ app as a mosque, Al Hadid Masjid. 

A local man who supports the application, and who has requested not to be named in case of discrimination, said the residency would provide a place of prayer in congregation for a very small Islamic community in Lithgow.

“It would just be for a small community of three to four people, the plan is to use it for Friday prayers, rather than going to the Bathurst mosque.”

He said a Lithgow woman had offered the space to be used by members of the Islamic community.

“Currently, no one is praying there. We are still waiting for it to be approved by the council.”

The application was lodged to the council by Annie Burbank last Monday, April 24. 

Development manager of Lithgow City Council, Jim Nichols, was unable to confirm if the applicant Ms Burbank owned the Ferro Street property. 

“We haven’t started the assessment of the application yet,” Mr Nichols said. 

“And so far we are just calling it a public place of worship.”

Mr Nichols said he could not estimate how long the assessment process would take as it would depend on the number of submissions that arose from notification of the application. 

“The process is that firstly we will notify adjoining neighbours of the property, including those across the street and behind on Hassans Wall Road,” Mr Nichols said.

“Then we will consider any submissions from those residents, and send the submissions to the applicant to comment upon.

“Once the submissions have been received we will consider those and the merits of the application under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and make a recommendation. 

“We will approve it under delegation unless the council calls it in to consider, in which case we will outline our recommendations in a report and then it will go through the standard council process.”

Mr Nichols said the applicant did not request for permission for any changes to the building.

He said it would also not have to go through a process of re-zoning. 

“The house is in a residential zone, and a public place of worship appears permissible in that zone.”