Beckenham Gurdwara gets green light from Bexley Council planning officers
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 April 2019
Plans for a new Sikh temple in Belvedere have taken a major step forward after getting the backing of council officers.
Proposals to demolish and rebuild a traditionally styled Gurdwara temple in Lower Road were submitted last year.
The current gurdwara is formed of a converted warehouse, which would be bulldozed in place of the new temple with 47 parking spaces.
It is a revised scheme that the applicant says is friendlier to neighbouring properties than a previous 2015 plan which was knocked back over parking concerns.
Officers have now backed the new temple, recommending councillors pass the plans at a meeting next week – despite 60 objections from neighbours.
Concerned residents say the temple is poorly designed, would be over-development and would increase parking and traffic in the area.
However, along with the objections, more than 200 people have written to the council to support the new temple – including MP Teresa Pearce, who wrote: “I believe the revised proposal is a marked improvement over that approved in 2015.
“The design is more aesthetically pleasing, does not increase the footprint and feels more harmonised with the immediate vicinity and the wider local area.”
In their report, council planners said: “The site as a Gudwara temple has been a long-standing place of worship and community centre for over thirty years.
“Therefore, the re-provision of the facility, within a predominantly residential area, and where many of its patrons reside in the immediate local area, is considered acceptable in policy terms.”
The plans, which were revised after Highways England raised concerns over parking, also include room for classrooms that can be used for community activities.