11:02AM, Thursday 26 September 2013
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.
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:
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