Hawzah News Agency (London, UK) – The Islamic Association of North London (IANL) has submitted a planning application to build a four-story extension at the front of its existing base on High Road, Finchley.
It also wants to build a roof extension and provide extra car and cycle parking.
IANL trustee Nurul Alam said the extra space would enable the center to improve the facilities it offers for its popular mother and toddler group.
He added that it would also help to improve learning facilities for older children.
“What we want to do is have rooms where we can have them kitted out with electronics and computers,” Mr Alam explained.
The cultural center regularly hosts guests, and Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer sometimes holds his surgery in the building.
But Mr Alam explained that the existing building does not have enough space to hold these meetings.
He said: “Sometimes we host guests. We have to have them in an open room where there is not enough privacy.
“We want to create meeting rooms so meetings can happen in private.”
Fears have been expressed that the expansion of the cultural center could lead to increased congestion and parking problems.
But Mr Alam said the extension plans were not aimed at attracting more people to Finchley.
He said: “We have a big demand. The space we need for the expansion is to absorb the existing demand in Barnet.”
Barnet’s Muslim population numbers around 20,000, making up approximately six per cent of the all the religious groups in the borough.
The center can accommodate 650 worshippers at any one time and has to hold two prayer meetings on Fridays and five on Eid days to cope with demand.