A plan to convert an empty pub into a Muslim cultural centre and place of worship can go ahead after a planning inspector upheld an appeal.

Planning permission to develop the site of the former White Horse in Albert Street, Stevenage was rejected by Stevenage Borough Council in September on grounds that there was inadequate parking.

But last week the Planning Inspectorate overturned the authority’s decision and approved the plan after an appeal was lodged by the town’s Bangladeshi community.

The proposals for the site include educational classes and a social drop-in centre as well as prayer meetings and weddings. A plan to build caretaker accommodation is also proposed.

Council head of planning, regeneration and transport, Viv Evans, said: “We will now be working with the applicant to ensure that the conditions attached by the inspector are complied with.”