Brent Council recommends application to extend temple in Willesden is rejected

Shree Swaminarayan Temple is on the corner of Willesden Lane and Deerhurst Road (Pic credit: Jan Nev

Shree Swaminarayan Temple is on the corner of Willesden Lane and Deerhurst Road (Pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Revised plans to extend a Hindu temple in Willesden have been recommended for refusal by Brent Council.

A planning committee meeting held in June saw proposals for the Shree Swaminarayan Temple, on the corner of Willesden Lane and Deerhurst Road, put on hold after councillors failed to reach a decision on its future.

Temple leaders have since revised their plans to extend the back of the building, build a two-level underground car park with 133 spaces and demolish three houses in Deerhurst Road to make way for 14 care home units, six elderly and visitor accommodation units and 14 self-contained flats.

In a bid to get planning permission, the size of the extension was scaled down, the total number of units reduced from 34 to 30 and the car park spaces cut to 111.

But Chatsworth Area Residents’ Organisation (CARO) said the Temple has ignored the objections of local people.

It claims the car park will damage the environment and cause traffic congestion while the accommodation units would be “ugly” and affect neighbours.

The group also objects to building on the back gardens of the houses that would be demolished and say the development is too big and out of character for a quiet residential area.

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George Binney, who chairs CARO, said he was “relieved” the council has recommended a refusal.

“It’s out of character and we are absolutely against the underground car park,” he said.

“If you have a car park it attracts a lot of cars.

“We get congestion on Deerhurst Road and Willesden Lane, they get blocked.

“A car park would create gridlock.

“There are more accidents at the junction when the Temple meets, people get fed up with waiting and do stupid things.

“We have seen lots of applications for people to build and take away green space in Brent and the council has turned them down.

“If (council) officers agreed this, there would be one rule for the Temple and another for everyone else.

“We want a fair deal and the same rules for everyone.

“This is not a proposal that should be accepted.

“If a developer put up this plan it would be thrown out.”

A decision is expected to be made on September 18 at Brent Council’s planning committee meeting at Brent Civic Centre in Wembley.

The Temple was unable to comment.