Residents form group to oppose Hindu Community Centre plans

Opposers of a proposed Hindu Community Centre in Boulters Lock have said they will have to fight for themselves if their councillors won’t.

Those living nearby who are against the plans have formed the Boulters Riverside Community Interest Company to raise at least £73,000 to bid for the land adjacent to the Boulters Lock Car Park in Lower Cookham Road and turn it into allotments.

Some living nearby the site worry that it will exacerbate an existing parking problem, because the plans do not include sufficient spaces for cars.

The Hindu Society, which is behind the plan, insists it will be usable for the whole community and that they are the only group in town without a specific centre.

The Boulters Riverside CIC chairman, Mick Jarvis, of Boulters Lane, criticised Cllr Simon Dudley, the leader of the council and one of three representatives of the Riverside ward.

Mr Jarvis said: "Councillor Dudley won't address our concerns, and our two other ward councillors have said they’re sitting on the fence until it comes to the planning stage.  

“We've decided that if our elected representatives won't fight for us, and for the people of Maidenhead, we'll have to do it ourselves.

“People are disturbed why what is going on.

“These are our elected officials. Who do you go to if not to them?”

However, Cllr Dudley said as leader he had to represent more than just the people in his ward.

He added: “I have a responsibility to all the residents of Windsor and Maidenhead, which includes Hindus.”

If a bid that rivals the Hindu Society’s, which has bid £73,000 for the land, is lodged, it will be discussed at the council’s Development Control Panel, he said, and added that he would ‘stay away’ from the process.

“I know they will jump up and down saying ‘Councillor Dudley is forcing it through’,” he added.

Of the other two Riverside councillors, Cllr Adam Smith, who sits on the Maidenhead Development Control Panel, said he would wait to form an opinion on the matter until a planning application was submitted.

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