Muslim-friendly flats opened

    New flats for elderly people have opened in Bristol – with toilets that do not face Mecca. The Muslim-friendly Very Sheltered Housing (VSH) scheme in Lincoln Street, Lawrence Hill, cost more than _6 million, has 55 bedrooms and was put up by the city council and the Guinness Trust on the site of the former Wainbrook elderly persons’ home. It includes 19 flats suitable for “tenants from the Muslim community” following local consultation. A council spokesman said: “The toilets in these flats are orientated so that the user doesn’t face Mecca. “Beds are placed so that feet are facing south east and not north west. “There is a door between the kitchen and living room plus extra ventilation in the kitchen to stop smells escaping. “And plumbing has been carried out to allow for the addition of a bidet or a shower head to allow the washing of the toilet bowl.” The development is the seventh VSH scheme to open in the city. Aashyana Housing Association chief executive, Saeed Anwar, said at the time: “We didn’t need to consult with the Muslim community about the toilets. We knew this would be pleasing to them if the toilets were not facing Mecca. It didn’t mean any extra cost to us – it was just a question of making sure they were not facing south east.”

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