PLANS for an Islamic community centre are one step closer after designs were submitted to the council.

The Bracknell Islamic Cultural Society (BCIS) is hoping to create a new home for its community at Waterside Park in Bracknell.

Should plans go ahead, the new centre would be the first purpose-built mosque in Bracknell Forest.

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A report sent to Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) read: “The Bracknell Muslim community have been seeking an Islamic community centre for the past ten years without success.

“This building allows the first positive opportunity to provide a valuable service to the Muslim community in Bracknell.

“It is essential to highlight the fact that the local Muslim community have a desperate need for a community centre for social and educational activities.”

Documents suggest 200 people could use the centre during Friday prayers, with up to 40 people using the site on a daily basis.

More than 80 per cent of visitors are expected to be local and living within walking distance.

Applicants suggest this means the new mosque would “not have any impact on the local traffic and parking”.

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The site, which is joined by 57 car parking spaces, was formerly owned by BFC before the authority sold it in June 2019 for £950,000.

Society leaders reportedly considered a vacant office building and a former church site for its new home, but these options proved “unviable” and Unit C at Waterside Park was purchased after a “positive response” from council bosses about converting it from offices to a community centre.

According to the Society’s website, the project to build a new Masjid and community centre has raised £665,000 from its £950,000 target.

The BCIS is a registered charity which was set up in 2006 and since 2016 has been using a single room in a council office space as its home.

Its project to develop a new community centre was set up in 2017 and a planning application is now currently being considered by BFC.

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Should the proposal be approved, the BCIS hopes to publicly open the centre in October.