Black Country Sikh temple extension set for approval

A Black Country-based Sikh temple’s plans to refurbish its facility with an extension and large dome look set to get the backing of planners.

Gurdwara Guru Hargobind Sahib andCar Park on Upper Chapel Street Oldury. Photo: Google Maps
Gurdwara Guru Hargobind Sahib andCar Park on Upper Chapel Street Oldury. Photo: Google Maps

Sandwell Council’s planning committee is being urged to grant approval to the scheme put forward by Gurdwara Guru Hargobind Sahib temple on Britannia Street, in Oldbury.

The work will see a two-storey first floor extension being built along with a large centre dome, five smaller corner domes and front steps being introduced.

This decision comes months after the temple won a two-year battle to gain permission to build a community centre, despite fierce opposition from residents who were worried about impact on traffic and parking.

In the latest application, the existing covered area to the front of the temple will be demolished to make way for the new development.

The ground floor of the extension would provide an extension hall while the first floor would have two rooms and the Sach Khand.

A report to committee said: “The applicant has confirmed that ‘The Sach Khand’ is a room dedicated for the storing of the Sikh holy book, when it is not in use.

“No person is allowed to be there at any time other to collect it for its reading.

“The Sikh religion consider their holy book called the Grant Shab as a deity so the Sach Khand is where he rests.”

The report added objections have been received which said this proposal, in conjunction with the approved community centre would lead to an increase in traffic and pressure on party.

The objectors also argue this would, in turn, result in increased levels of noise, pollution and rubbish.

But officers said the extension would not generate extra traffic and added they did not consider this would see increased levels of disturbance and litter.

Planning officer Andrew Dean said: “The proposal would not cause significant harm to the amenity of the occupiers of adjacent properties, would have no appreciable impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding area and would enhance the appearance of the entrance to the Gurdwara within the street scene.

“Furthermore, as no increase in trip rates are proposed and the head of highways has raised no objections to the application, I am satisfied there would be no increase in parking demand and therefore no significant impact to the safety and convenience of users of the highway.”

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