Wigston residents furious with derelict pub planning application
By Azim Saiyed
A plan to turn a disused pub in Wigston into a community hub and a place of worship has angered some residents who are objecting strongly to it over traffic concerns.
A planning application was lodged by the new owners last year for the run-down former Nautical William pub, which caused a strong disagreement in the community.
Wigston resident Beckie Ligo, 49, said: “The traffic is going to get absolutely stupid down there.
“We live at the bottom of the road, and it’s really bad, it’s hard enough to get in and out.”
From the planning application proposals posted to nearby houses, the residents found out the place of worship could potentially be a mosque.
Beckie said: “To be fair, there are far and few Muslims in this area, it would be much better if it was housing.
“We were originally promised for housing and flats to be built by the council, but they are absolutely rubbish.”
A representative from the community hub, who did not want to be named, said: “Let’s get the facts right, it’s not going to be a mosque, this is just misinformation that’s been going around.
“The community hub will be open to all residents regardless of their age, religion, race, or background.”
He said residents nearby will be able to visit, have a tea or coffee, socialise, and take part in community activities.
“In regard to the traffic,” he added, “I can clarify that currently, there are a lot of Muslim residents who are having to drive to the nearest mosque in Oadby, and having a prayer facility nearby will allow to clear up traffic, as they can walk.”
The representative mentioned that the community hub will provide hot meals, foodbanks and generally a relaxing place for the wider community and in that way the organisers hope to show people what true Islam is.
Beckie said: “I’m an atheist, I don’t care about what they use it for, but I have appealed against it.
“Do we really need all this upset?”
The Nautical William originally started as a brewery pub in the 1950s on a piece of land bought by William Cox.
For decades it was a regular for the locals, but those days seem to have come to an end.