FURIOUS residents slammed the prospect of a 'mosque' being built in the heart of Tilehurst.

One resident claimed the village will 'be destroyed' while another said they 'do not want a mosque on my doorstep' amid plans to turn Equity House in School Road into a place of worship.

An official planning application was submitted to Reading Borough Council last month by Zainabiya Welfare Foundation (ZWF), which currently owns the building.

The group said the building will be used as a community centre and will not be a dedicated mosque.

Mumtaz Ali, trustee of ZWF admitted he was shocked by some of the comments made by residents.

He told the Chronicle: "The application is for a community centre. It is not just for a mosque.

"Anyone is welcome to come and join us, from all religions.

"The building will be used for a family community centre for around 40 families.

"The council knows about the parking situation but there is a council owned car park with 96 spaces very nearby which we can park in.

"People have time to sit there on the internet and write comments but we don't respond to them. People say things about us but we don't listen to them."

Dozens of residents responded with concerns over parking and traffic while others claimed the plans would tarnish Tilehurst's community.

Posters have been handed out to nearby neighbours urging them to condemn the application while its public consultation runs until February 15.

One comment on Reading Borough Council's planning website reads: "NO NO it's out of order Tilehurst is a nice village this will destroy it. There's already a mosk (sic)

in Oxford Road keep Tilehurst as it is this will cause unrest and bad feeling with the residents NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO."

Another neighbour said: "Tilehurst is not a Muslim community, and never has been, and the religion of Islam should not be forced upon the wider community. There is a mosque less than 10 minutes down the road which can be used.

"This is NOT a suitable place for this to be as the traffic is busy around this area and I feel that this is being FORCED upon the wider community without any thought for other people."

The application states that the main hours of worship would be between 7.30-10.30pm on weekdays, 12pm-2pm on Fridays, 9am-10pm Saturday and 11am-3pm on Sunday.

There are also proposals to build a fence at the front of the building.

One resident warned there could be violence if the council accepts the plans.

"As there is a minimal presence in the village of Muslims I believe this will upset the balance of the villagers and frictions will incur leading to violence and disruption," they said.

Visit http://bit.ly/2FPGpvI to view the application in full.