RESIDENTS failed to block a madrassa expansion.

Planners yesterday gave the green light for the development of the Islamic school on Mill Road in Dewsbury.

The existing one-storey building will be demolished and replaced by a two-storey structure.

Nineteen residents had objected to the proposal.

Their complaints included:

The new madrassa would block out light to neighbouring bungalows

The development would increase parking and road safety problems

The expansion would mean more young people would attend the madrassa.

But 159 people backed the proposal.

Their points in favour included:

The building is close to the community, promoting sustainable transport

There is no proposal to expand capacity, meaning no extra traffic problems

The new building is well-designed.

Clr Khizar Iqbal backed the development at yesterday’s meeting of the council’s Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-committee.

The Dewsbury South Conservative said: “This is an upgrade to the facility because the current building is in a bad condition.”

But Clr Iqbal added he had “some sympathy” for residents living near the school.

The sub-committee voted unanimously to approve the madrassa.