Islamic teaching and prayer centre could replace former Aylesbury pub

The disused Steeplechase pub in Taylor Road
The disused Steeplechase pub in Taylor Road
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An Islamic education and prayer centre could replace an abandoned Aylesbury pub, if planning permission is granted.

The Steeplechase has stood empty for a number of years, but now the Aylesbury Islamic Education Trust wants to convert it to teach Islamic studies and hold prayer sessions.

Some residents have expressed fears over the plans, including the potential impact on parking.

Isabel Scott said: “I hope it doesn’t go through. I would rather see a block of flats there.”

The trust currently has a centre in Tring Road, but needs a bigger space to meet demand.

If approved, classrooms, a games room and a caretaker’s flat would be installed in the former Taylor Road pub. Some 150 children at any one time would attend two sessions between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays. There would also be five daily 15-minute prayer sessions and longer Friday prayers.

A similar centre which replaced the former Skinny Dog pub in Churchill Avenue, Southcourt, sparked protests when plans were unveiled in 2008.

But residents The Bucks Herald spoke to this week said they have not had problems with it since it opened.

However, Mrs P Beales wrote of the new proposals in an online submission: “We do not want or need another prayer centre.

“If the site cannot be used for the benefit of the whole community, ie another public house, it should be given over for housing.”