Padstow resident Daryl McGarry talks with concerned Padstow residents about the impacts of the United Muslim Association’s plan for a grand mosque in their suburb.
THE plan for a mega mosque at Padstow, dwarfing Lakemba in size and the number of worshippers, is a step closer with the United Muslim Association (UMA) lodging a development application (DA) with Canterbury Bankstown Council.
The council's Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) will consider the application.
After acquiring additional property in Enterprise Avenue, the UMA have applied to upgrade its prayer hall to a place of public worship, boosting daily visitors from 139 to 204.
The application will see the expansion of facilities, including a playgroup.
The council has told the Torch that those who made a submission during the exhibition period, will be advised of the IHAP meeting, at a date to be announced, and be invited to attend and speak.
The UMA has relocated from Lakemba, to "a permanent home on a large site in Padstow", according to its website.
The UMA officially opened the first stage of the redevelopment on May 8, which was given approval after a Land and Environment Court challenge in December 2016.
The current approval is for a community centre, gymnasium and prayer hall.
Residents and businesses were outraged when the UMA revealed plans for the mega mosque.
A Padstow Residents Group spokesman said this was the next stage in the UMA's plan for a mosque that could accommodate up to 5,000 worshippers.
"We're not against a mosque as such, but the impact it will have on our neighbourhood, the local school, existing businesses and residents," the spokesperson said.
"We would be opposing the development application if it was a Bunnings or an Aldi."
The residents group has objected to the DA, citing traffic congestion and parking as their main concerns.
Attempts by the Torch to gain comment from the UMA have not been successful.