MORE than 50 residents turned out to a council meeting to discuss plans for a new Muslim prayer centre.

The residents gathered for a Dalton Town Council meeting on Monday evening to discuss the proposals for the new religious building at Crooklands Brow on Ulverston Road in Dalton.

A number of attendees aired concerns about the proposed build, after it was announced last week plans for the first dedicated prayer space for Muslims in South Cumbria had been lodged with council bosses.

Fiona Thomson, the town clerk for Dalton Town Council, told The Mail: "Monday’s meeting was reasonably good-natured - not hostile in any way.”

Residents raised a number of points relating to the controversial project that included: the land under consideration, residents argued, being a greenfield site; potential disturbances that could be brought on by the Centre’s opening hours (although no specific opening hours were mentioned in the plans); 'inadequate' parking space allocated in the plans; a number of protected wildlife that attendees believe inhabit the proposed site.

Dalton Town Council said it had so far received two letters of objection. However, one was anonymous and therefore could not be taken into consideration by council members.

Barrow Borough Council will have the final say with respect to the plans. But Dalton Town Council will recommend approval or refusal of the project, which will factor into Barrow councillors’ decision.

Mrs Thomson said Dalton Council was currently awaiting further planning information before it makes any final recommendation on the controversial proposals.

Another meeting is expected to take place at some point over the coming fortnight, once Dalton Council has been able to consider all the relevant information.

On the Barrow Council website, the public will be able to find ahead of that meeting the recommendations of the planning officer, any letters of objection as well as recommendations from Cumbria Highways, representatives from utilities services and wildlife protection groups.

Email your thoughts to