A vacant former florists in Whitley Wood could become an Islam centre for religious teaching and guidance.

Local charity the Al-Majid Welfare Trust, who recently bought the property at 581 Basingstoke Road, have submitted plans to the council to change the use of the unit from a shop to D1 use, which includes ‘religious instruction’.

Previously hosting Georgie’s The Florist – which is now based on Burghfield Bridge Close – the shop is currently vacant.

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The Majid Welfare Trust has been holding religious teachings at the Northumberland Community Hall, on Northumberland Avenue, since 2004

As all the events take place in the community hall, the trust says it is “always up against time restraints” to cater for the community as others have the hall booked after them.

Planning consultant Martin Clayton, speaking on behalf of the charity, said: “With the restrictions the clients are finding it very difficult to operate and decided to purchase their own property and carry on with the same activities.

“The clients are only aiming at the very local community, especially the younger children, to provide guidance and teaching to promote education and wellbeing.”

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The shop will be converted into space for religious activities for up to 15 people but Friday prayers will not be held at this location “as it is not large enough”.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) environmental health team have raised concerns about noise levels and the impact on nearby residents, such as those living in the flats above and in neighbouring properties.

In response, Mr Clayton said the walls and the ceiling will be adequately sound proofed in excess of the building regulations to protect the neighbouring properties and no music will be played at the premises.

The building would be used from 6am to 10pm on weekdays, 8am to 10pm on Saturday and 8am to 9pm on Sundays.

The Al-Majid Welfare Trust hasalso purchased the property next door, fish and chip restaurant Deep Blue Sea, but no plans have been submitted for this site.