FAKE news – whenever one comes across the 'real' thing, so to speak – is so shocking it can feel almost like a physical assault.

That's how I feel anyway – so I'll be very interested to know who and what was behind the online report last week which claimed planning approval had been given for the building of a 'Super Mosque' in Prestatyn which would make the town the "Muslim Capital of Wales".

This so-called "BREAKING NEWS" story appeared on December 13 on a site called Elitenews247.co.uk which carries a boast on its home page to be "The Ultimate News Website".

I have seen it myself and read what is published there.

According to BBC Wales which reported the official reaction to it last Friday, December 14, by quoting the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Denbighshire councillors "confirmed there were no such plans and said they had called the police."

The BBC added that "Prestatyn North councillor Paul Penlington said the online story "appeared designed to stir up racial hatred."

The Elitenews247.co.uk "report" runs, in part, as follows (my italics):

Denbighshire county council have just approved planning permission for Wales' largest mosque. The land that used to occupy Prestatyn market on Gas Works Lane has recently been sold at auction for £3.2 million.

This venture has been kept very quiet and has left locals wondering who has purchased the land and what it going to be built on the development site.

We can now confirm planning permission has been given the green light and building work is set to start in Spring 2019.

The story then quotes some views of purportedly real local people either in support of – or against – the plans, for example "David Pincott" who says "Prestatyn is already a thriving community and the new mosque is going to attract thousands of Muslims to Prestatyn each year."

It implies that this "quote" is from a person in favour of such a huge development.

On the other hand "Beryl Mead" is claimed to have said "This is an absolute disaster for Prestatyn. House prices are going to reduce dramatically..."

The piece concludes: The new mosque which is expected to have enough prayer space for around 4,500 worshippers, is expected to be open in Summer 2020.

The total development is expected to cost Denbighshire county council in excess of £5.5 million.

The report includes an artist's impression of the completed mosque (said in the BBC coverage to have been lifted from a genuine news item from Abu Dhabi) and a floor plan for "Inner Hall No 3".

It then invites readers to share the story on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google.

However despite being apparently condemned by councillors and reported to police, it was still available to be viewed online and shared by anyone as of yesterday. [[DEC 18]]

The BBC report stated Elitenews247.co.uk had been approached for comment.

I do not know who or what Elitenews247.co.uk is, and it's very important to find out and hear what, if anything, it has to say for itself. It could conceivably be just some sort of prank or intended satire.

I would have expected the content to have been taken down by now though, and hope an investigation is indeed under way. Fake news – if that is what this is – has become anything but a joke these days.