Plans to build a mosque in south Sydney have been given the green light after proposals were backed by two of the biggest sporting stars in Australia.
Former All Black star Sonny Bill Williams and boxer Anthony Mundine have thrown their support behind the Hurstville Masjid, which developers say will provide the area a place for worship and community-based activities.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride to get this Masjid up and running, maybe four or five years,” Mr Williams said in a promotional video for the mosque.
“As a proud Muslim in this area, this is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.”
An application to spend almost $1 million to demolish the former nursing home on Botany St in Carlton was first filed in 2019.
Backers of the development successfully challenged Georges River Council after the proposal was refused in December 2021.
Twelve objections were provided to the court, with nearby residents raising concerns about a loss of privacy, increased noise and saying the plans were an “over-development” of the site.
But on September 6, NSW Land and Environment Court commissioner Susan O’Neill found the issues raised by George River Council had been addressed by the applicants.
“I accept the experts’ analysis and agreement that the amended application has successfully addressed the contentions raised by the Council,” she said.
Mr Williams grew up in New Zealand as a Christian, but in his 20s he found the Islam faith.
He told 9NEWS having a Mosque in his local community was “long overdue”.
“Perseverance means patience and that‘s what we’ve had,” he said.
“It‘s been long overdue but thank god we’re here now.
“There’s a big community out there you know, especially in the sporting world.”