Oldbury temple community centre plans set to be rejected
A second attempt to build a proposed Sikh community centre in Oldbury looks likely to fail after council officers recommended rejection of a revised planning application.
The Gurdwara Guru Hargobind Sahib is asking permission to build on part of its existing car park, in Upper Chapel Street – while demolishing a former temple on Dudley Road East.
Last year, councillors rejected a similar plan on the grounds that 68 car parking spaces would be insufficient.
In an effort to address those concerns the Gurdwara has now applied to to demolish its former building 300 metres away using the land as an overspill which it says will increase the number of car parking spaces to 89.
The new application seeks to build a community centre which can accommodate 150 people on the western side of the existing car park near to the rear garden boundary of residential properties on Acacia Close.
The scheme has led to a petition with over 180 signatures and 18 formal objections.
Opponents of the scheme say the existing car park is currently at capacity with vehicles over spilling onto the highway when the Gurdwara is in use and local roads are constantly busy with local businesses, parents taking children to the nearby Tividale primary school and residents parking.
Residents of Acacia Close have also said their homes will be overlooked by the centre leading to a loss of privacy.
One letter of support says the new building would be a benefit to the whole community and when the Gurdwara’s current car park is least used it offers parking for parents collecting their children from the local primary school reducing traffic hazards and offering more safety to pupils.
The council highway department has also said its estimates a total of 98-113 off-street parking spaces are required and only 89 are proposed, recommending the whole of the car park is retained for existing use.
Planning officers have also pointed out the land is scheduled for employment use and the application is contrary to the council’s local plan.
In recommending refusal, they say: “The proposal would result in removal of an aspect of the car park which would result in insufficient car parking being provided for the existing temple and the proposed centre. This would be to the detriment of the users of the highway.”
Councillors will meet today(4) to discuss the application.
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