A new mosque will be built on a former pottery works, despite warnings that the call to prayer may offend non-Muslim neighbours.
The new place of worship will replace the nearby Ghelani Noor Mosque and be built on the old Denton Works, in Chaplin Road, Normacot.
The plan was approved by Stoke-on-Trent City Council's development control committee yesterday by eight votes to two, with two abstentions.
But the mosque committee's intention to ring out a call to prayer every Friday and during holy festivals was challenged by BNP councillor Phillip Sandland, who warned it could lead to flash points with non-Muslim neighbours.
As part of the planning conditions each call to prayer - or Adhan - must last no longer than two minutes and only be amplified between 7.30am and 8pm.
Mr Sandland told the committee: "I'm happy to see a house of God built, whether it?s Christian, Muslim or whatever.
"But there are people who will take exception to this call to prayer and for the time being it should not be allowed."
Committee chairman, Councillor Mike Barnes, asked him: "Do we take the same account of bells when the Lord Mayor is appointed?"
But Mr Sandland hit back: "It's different as well you know - don't provoke your neighbours, as this thing does."
Councillor Brian Ward, deputy leader of the City Independents, challenged the scheme on parking grounds after taking photographs to illustrate existing problems.
The application includes an underground car park with 53 spaces, but Mr Ward wanted more.
He told the committee: "Everyone knows the problem with parking and this is an opportunity to put it right.
"People do not walk to the present mosque, they drive. The surrounding streets are gridlocked and 53 parking spaces will not address the situation.
"We know there are far more than 53 cars.
"We have had a cluster of accidents in that area where people have been killed."
Accident statistics for the area highlight six fatal road traffic accidents over the years and 33 accidents.
But Mr Barnes said: "This is my ward and I reject some of the representations about parking. This provides 53 parking spaces not there at the moment. I think this is a significant step in trying to alleviate parking problems."
And Councillor Ross Irving said: "If councillor Ward is suggesting there are 600 worshippers coming by car, the only way you can address that is by building the mosque in the middle of the Staffordshire Moorlands. I think the mosque committee has done everything possible."
Work on the mosque, which will cost between £1.5 million and £2 million through fund-raising by the Muslim community, will start once the old building is demolished.
Mosque committee president Mohammed Gulzar said: ?Work will start as soon as possible. We will have to get quotations and the old building will have to be demolished, so it will be sometime yet.?
Vice president Aftav Hussain added: ?We are excited, it is very good news.?
Source: Sentinel (English), h/t Islamophobia Watch