Bonnyrigg Mosque plans prompt backlash

David Somerville, Bonnyrigg who has started petition against proposed Mosque.
David Somerville, Bonnyrigg who has started petition against proposed Mosque.

Plans to open a mosque and Muslim community centre in central Bonnyrigg have sparked concern among local residents.

Midlothian Council has received 37 written objections to applicant Mohammed Asaf’s application to turn property at 81-83 High Street into a meeting place for local Muslims.

Objectors have also submitted a petition. Signed by 19 residents at nearby Regal Lodge sheltered housing complex, it claims there is a lack of parking and demand for such a facility. It further states that such a facility “would not benefit the local people but would rather encourage people from other areas outwith Midlothian to use such a facility.”

David Somerville, a retired lorry driver with Midlothian Council, organised the petition along with his neighbour Mike Moore.

Mr Somerville, of Regal Lodge, explained: “It [the planned centre] is not wanted in Bonnyrigg. Walk along the High Street and speak to anyone and they will tell you that they are against it.”

Read full story in the July 4 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.