05:00PM, Thursday 12 July 2018
Land at Boulters Lock car park where the centre could be built
A proposal to build a Hindu community centre in St Cloud Way is due to be considered this summer.
Council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) met with the Hindu Society of Maidenhead, which is behind the project to build the centre, last month.
The society’s plan to build it at Boulters Lock car park, off Lower Cookham Road, has gone to appeal after the council refused permission for it.
Last month, the Advertiser reported that Cllr Dudley had suggested the society use land in St Cloud Way as part of the Maidenhead regeneration project instead.
The offer came amid fears the appeal could prove costly for the council. The inquiry is due to take place in September.
Now, the president of the Hindu Society, Chander Mohan Malhotra, has said the suggestion will be looked at in the next few weeks but that cannot take place until everyone is available.
“We need to have a meeting with all the trustees and members of the society,” he said.
“A lot of people are on vacation.
“It is very hard to say (if the society will back the offer) because it is not one person’s decision.
“Everybody has got to sit together.”
In February last year, the council approved handing over a 125-year lease for land next to Boulters Lock car park to the society in exchange for £73,000, subject to planning permission.
The plans were rejected by councillors in July last year after residents complained the car park would become overcrowded, but the society has appealed.
New plans at St Cloud Way would require a fresh planning application and Mr Malhotra admitted he was ‘obviously’ frustrated at how long the process of getting a centre has taken.
But he said it was ‘important for our next generation, young kids, the elderly’ to understand Hinduism and that requires a community centre – which the society has maintained will also be used by non-Hindus.
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