Mosque to open on suburban street
A former Christian church on a suburban street will be reborn as the Gold Coast's newest mosque. And neighbours have a pleasing message.
The Ridgeway Ave complex was formerly home to the Metro Church will be converted into an Islamic place of worship.
And Southport residents have welcomed the Muslim community to the neighbourhood, saying it was a "step in the right direction" for the area.
Broadbeach-based trustee company TD Norton Group bought the former church from Metro for $3.4 million in late 2017 but did not settle on the property until April 30 this year.
TD Norton Group did not respond to requests for comment by the Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday.
The Bulletin understands the new owners began moving in earlier this month.
"Yes that's true. It's another group and they've already moved in," said Gold Coast Islamic Society president Hussin Goss, who has met with the place of worship's owners.
"They are tidying the place it but it won't be like the Arundel mosque. It will be a small backyard-type thing."
The Metro Church relocated to Robina last year after securing a larger premises.
Unlike previous proposed places of worship this project will not be required to go before the Gold Coast City Council's planning committee for approval because there are no changes to the use of the property or its fit-out.
Nearby resident Erin Johnston said though she didn't have any issue with the previous tenants, the new mosque would be a "step in the right direction" for Southport.
"I think it's really good, I didn't know about it until I got in an Uber and it came up as Southport Mosque," she said.
"And I just thought it was cool, it's a positive thing for Southport.
"Aside from a little bit of a party on Friday nights, there was nothing outrageous about (the church)."
Next-door neighbour Russell Parlett, 33, also had positive things to say about the new tenants.
"We had an issue with leaking water for ages and the new people fixed it, so that's already a good thing," he said.
"We were hounding them for ages. We haven't heard much from (the new owners) but we didn't hear much from the old ones either.
"There was some music but that's religion, you're going to express it how you need."
It comes five years after controversial plans were lodged with council to create a mosque in a Currumbin Waters industrial estate.
The project was put forward by the Salsabil Charity Organisation in Villiers Drive and sparked 3867 submissions and eight petitions containing 5511 signatures.
Residents were concerned about the hours of operation, increased noise, more traffic and "social upheaval" created by having a mosque next to a school and dance studio.
Some objections, were based on opposition to the Islamic faith.
The proposal led to a fiery rally at Evandale before it was initially approved by the Gold Coast City Council's planning committee in September 2014.
However, the decision was sensationally overturned by a full council meeting a week later despite legal advice.
In 2016 council triumphed over Salsabil which filed an appeal against the city's decision.
Later that year Salsabil offloaded the Currumbin Waters property for $3.34 million, a $480,000 profit.