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Shared site suggested for Hindu Society and Maidenhead Community Centre

A new site may be offered in the town centre to house a much-debated new Hindu community centre.

Council leader Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), has confirmed that he has sent a letter to the Hindu Society of Maidenhead (HSM) suggesting a new site in Saint-Cloud Way as part of the town centre’s redevelopment.

HSM had an application to build a centre beside Boulters Lock car park, in Cookham Road, rejected in July 2017.

It is in the process of appealing the decision.

The new proposal would see HSM share a site with Maidenhead Community Centre after councillors pledged to find it a new home following the redevelopment of York Road.

Maidenhead Community Centre currently runs a small cafe and classes for mostly elderly people.

Cllr Dudley said: “The Hindu centre and York Road centre are both community centres, so I think they can go together really well.”

He also suggested that if HSM did not accept the plan, it may affect its appeal for the Boulters Lock site.

He said: “It may affect the success of the appeal and their ability to get a lease if they turn down an alternative site. We think it could be a better option for both, so it would be a win-win.

“We are exploring the best option for our community and there are lots of possibilities for local groups popping up as part of the new developments.”

Chander Malhotra, president of HSM, said he had not yet received Cllr Dudley’s letter, but that the society would meet and consider any good offers.

More than 100 members of the public were present when HSM’s controversial application was rejected by councillors over issues of parking and traffic last year.

The initial application received strong opposition from members of the Riverside community and a petition against the site received nearly 500 signatures.

In a letter to the Advertiser, Mick Jarvis of Boulters Riverside Community Interest Company, said: “If HSM refuses to share a facility its entire premise for a facility for community use is a misrepresentation and would remove any moral obligation of the council to continue the offer of a lease.”

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