MUSLIM leaders have blamed far-right activists for distributing 'misleading' letters to city homes, urging residents to oppose plans for a £3million mosque.

The letters, which were posted through letterboxes on Sunday morning, encouraged residents to object to a planning application for a mosque in Stanley Road, Worcester.

Mohammed Iqbal, general secretary of Worcester Muslim Welfare Association, said: “We feel this is the work of a far-right group.

“The way this leaflet was produced is misleading. It looks professional and may seem to some people as if it has come from official sources or local councillors.

“It discusses congestion, the character of the area and disturbance of peace. None of these have been backed with any evidence whatsoever.

“Our aim is to create and enhance the area and not to create a large car park - to encourage more people to drive.

“We wish to encourage people to walk and cycle. Our current mosque will be converted into an education block and will also serve as overflow parking on busy days."

Mr Iqbal denounced the leaflet as scaremongering and claimed the use of the phrase ‘mega mosque’ in the letter was deceptive.

He said the dimensions mentioned in the document were incorrect and said there would be adequate parking.

The project also includes a sports centre - which would be open to locals and schoolchildren - and apartments, according to Mr Iqbal.

He said the opening times for the mosque would be restricted to prayer hours.

The sports centre and the housing block would be built on the same footprint as existing buildings.

City councillor Tracey Biggs, who lives in Fort Royal Hill, said all the residents on her street received letters, totalling around 100 homes.

Cllr Biggs added: "It's a one-sided view about concerns. It just talks about the negatives and not the positives."

She said a neighbour spotted a young man delivering the letters.

The councillor added: "My concern is why they would send this out anonymously. There's no indication of the author of this, on first sight it looks like an official piece of paper.

"I thought it had come from Worcester City Council and a few other people thought the same. It would be nice if we could know who's writing it, what their agenda is and what their beliefs are."