Muslim group appeals for mosque to open all hours
A MUSLIM group is appealing the "unreasonable" limited opening hours and number of visitors allowed at its Maroochydore place of worship.
An appeal has been lodged by the Muslim Organisation Sunshine Coast (MOSC) in the Planning and Environment Court.
It is against the conditions imposed by the Sunshine Coast Council when the Church St site was given approval on June 23.
MOSC has asked for the condition that its weekly worship service "may not operate outside of the hours of 12pm to 3pm on Fridays" be removed.
How do you feel about a mosque being built in Maroochydore?
This poll ended on 30 August 2015.
Fine. There are churches nearby so what's the difference?
I'm against it. Mosques have no place on the Sunshine Coast
As long as they abide by council rules, I don't mind.
I'm unsure, I would like to know more about how mosques operate
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Sunshine Coast Safe Communities, which has long expressed concerns about the development application, believes this will allow 24-hour, seven day a week access to the site.
"MOSC are now appealing to the Planning and Environment Court to have their usage extended to 24 hours a day," Safe Communities President Ron Hutchins said.
"Whilst these hours may be the same as nearby churches, church usage is typically during daylight and early evening hours.
"Scheduled Islamic prayer times start every day before sunrise and finish well after sunset. This may mean attendance as early as 3.20am in summer.
"There is concern that the slamming of car doors and chanting may disturb residents in the adjacent, planned aged-care facility."
MOSC is also asking the Planning and Environment Court to increase the number of visitors allowed on the site.
The council approved a maximum of 25 visitors allowed at worship services and 40 during twice-yearly holiday and festival services.
MOSC wants to include an extra 60 for school excursions up to 12 times a year.
"The council have rightly refused these further requests and will now defend their decision in court. We commend the council on their stand," Mr Hutchins said.
A council spokeswoman said the applicant had appealed to the court against two conditions of the approval.
"The conditions were originally framed around a response from the applicant after the council asked for details of their proposed services," she said,
"The council is unable to comment further as the appeal is before the court."
Attempts to get comment from a MOSC spokesperson were unsuccessful.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said she hoped the council could uphold its planning decisions in a court.
"This is a council planning issue. If conditions are being appealed, the council has to make a decision," she said.