Hindu community centre plans narrowly refused at packed meeting

Hindu community centre plans narrowly refused at packed meeting

Reporter:

James Preston

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Hindu community centre plans narrowly refused at packed meeting

Dozens of people packed into a Maidenhead planning meeting yesterday as councillors narrowly voted to refuse plans to build a Hindu community centre in Pinkneys Green.

Former Agnes Hayward Nursery School site

The controversial plan for the former Agnes Hayward Nursery School site in Lincoln Road attracted a packed crowd of supporters and objectors when it was discussed by the town's development control panel at Maidenhead Town Hall.

The Hindu Society of Maidenhead (HSM) had successfully applied for the land to be listed as an asset of community value and had put forward plans to turn the site into a multi-purpose facility and temple for its members.

The proposal had attracted 25 letters of objection, mostly from nearby residents who raised concerns about the suitability of putting the facility in a residential area, traffic, disturbance, and parking.

After hearing arguments for and against the plans from neighbours, HSM members and non-voting councillors, the panel was in agreement that the idea of a permanent base for the town's Hindu community was a good idea in principle, but several members raised concerns about the location, parking issues and the number of people who will use the site in future years.

Six members voted in favour of refusal, with five members voting against.


Other decisions made at the meeting include:

  • An outline application to build nine houses at the former unit five industrial site in Oldfield Road was approved, subject to conditions.
  • Two applications to build an animal care facility and a two-storey technology research centre at the Berkshire College of Agriculture in Burchetts Green Road were approved .
  • An outline application to build two semi-detached three-bedroom houses at 1-7 Ray Lea Road was approved.
  • Outline plans to build 57 sheltered apartments at 3-6 Bridge Avenue was refused, with members raising concerns about the suitability of the site for elderly or vulnerable people and a lack of information on how the building will be used.

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