The English Defence League says it will mount a major national demonstration in Newcastle after plans to convert the former setting for TV series Byker Grove into an Islamic school were approved
The Benwell Towers site has been on the market since 2007 after the BBC stopped filming the popular children's series the previous year.
Proposals to covert the Grade II listed building into a faith school for up to 340 pupils between 11 and 16 were submitted to Newcastle City Council by the BAHR Academy and approved by councillors on Friday December 14.
No-one from the EDL was present at the planning meeting but it was well attended by members of the local Muslim community.
On its website BAHR says that it hopes to: "provide a model example of education with a distinctive Islamic paradigm."
The new school will be for young people who want to become Islamic scholars and clerics.
Development of the currently empty and run-down site will include a community space, coffee shop and events area which will be open at weekends.
The North East EDL Facebook page says that the city council have "ignored objections from the local community" to the new school in approving the plans.
It continues: "Therefore, we now announce that the second national demo of 2013 (after Manchester) will be held in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne."
The demonstration has not yet been listed on the EDL's national Facebook page or website.
Residents had raised objections about traffic congestion and noise around the site.
BAHR Academy principal Mufti Muhammad Abdulmuheet welcomed the decision, which he said would see a derelict building put back into community use.
He said: "When it was run by the BBC, the site was not open to everyone but we want the public to come along, the community facilities are for everyone to use.
"We want to show that Islam is inclusive and we want to be a part of Benwell and Scotswood."
The Newcastle-based Academy bought the site for £400,000.
Also known as the Mitre Building, the property was home to the bishops of Newcastle in the late 1800s, before being used as a fire station during the Second World War.
More recently it was a pub and restaurant, before being turned into the TV set where Byker Grover was filmed for 17 years.
The report to the planning committee, which had recommended approval, read: "The proposed school would impact upon some neighbouring residents.
"Increased coming and goings would generate activity above its last use as a recording studio.
"However, any disruption would be for only certain periods of the day and with less activity at weekends. Given the benefits of finding a future use of the property, then these impacts are considered acceptable."
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