SEPARATE plans to convert a former off-licence into a mosque and a Salvation Army hall into a public house have caused unholy rows in West Lothian and Falkirk, writes William Tinning.

Shopkeeper Mohammed Saeed, 39, who has to travel 30 minutes each day with his family to the nearest mosque, in Livingston, is planning to open one in a disused off-licence he owns.

He believes the building, on the edge of a housing scheme, in Greenrigg, West Lothian, is the ideal place for local Muslim families to congregate for prayer.

Mr Saeed is planning to fit out the building and bring in an imam, or religious teacher, to lead the worship.

''Muslims have to pray up to five times a day and it takes us too long to travel to Livingston. There are between 10 and 15 families in the area who would use this mosque. I have six children of my own and they all need somewhere to pray,'' he said.

However, local residents are concerned that the mosque could lead to traffic jams in the residential area.

Ms Eileen Ash, of nearby Greenrigg Cottages, said: ''Where are people going to get parked? No one wants this mosque here. Car doors are going to be banging all day long, especially if they need to pray five times a day. This is not the right place for a mosque.''

Meanwhile, public house and nightclub owners in Falkirk are opposing plans to turn a former Salvation Army hall into a public house.

The Salvation Army is currently trying to sell the Bank Street premises it has owned for 90 years. It is understood an offer of more than #75,000 is on the table, subject to the granting of a licence to sell alcohol.

Objectors to the scheme, including the owners of Rosie O'Grady's nightclub and the Behind the Wall and Comma Bar Cafe bars, claim there are already about 20 licensed premises within 200 metres of the hall, and argue that there is not sufficient demand for another similar operation.