Petition after 'horror' of Sikh Gurdwara plansBy Jon Nurse
April 19, 2012
Angry residents have filed a 160-signature strong petition condemning plans to build a Sikh temple in Earley.
Campaigners are warning that inadequate parking facilities would affect local motorists.
Phil Daniels, of the Earley Neighbours group, said: “To say that the general response was one of horror at the scale of the plans is probably not an exaggeration.”
The petition has been taken from roads directly around the proposed site and campaigners insist there is an extremely high percentage of objections in the area.
Residents in Earley had until today (Wednesday) to send comments to Wokingham Borough Council concerning the proposal.
The proposed two-storey Gurdwara would take the place of two homes in Wokingham Road.
Mr Daniels said: “The biggest area of concern is the issue of traffic and parking. The proposed plans include an underground car park for 51 cars which is woefully inadequate for the number of worshippers who will be attending on a weekly basis.
“The application actually states that there will be parking overflow into the neighbouring streets, so neighbours will have to endure their roads being clogged with cars for a facility from which they will gain, almost exclusively, no benefit.”
Parminder Singh, chairman of the group behind the development, said: “On average weeks, 90 per cent of our parking needs will be accommodated on the site.
“A lot of our people are living in the Earley area and will be walking. There is also a train station car park that can hold 40 cars on Sundays.”
The neighbourhood group insist its objections are not due to the nature of the building, but rather the scale of the project and the detrimental impact it would have on the community.
Members are concerned with potential risks of increased traffic flow along Wokingham Road, the noise impact of hundreds of people arriving and leaving the site, and the appearance of the building, which they believe to be out of character with the area.
Mr Singh said: “We have purposely tried not to build an Asian-style building. We plan to set the building off the road and surround it with greenery.”