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Temple supporters hit back in row with street over parking

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 January 2014

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

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

Archant

Furious residents of a Willesden road have waged war with a Hindu Temple over new proposals to extend Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) restrictions to weekends.

The temple's website is encouraging worshippers to sign a petition against the changesThe temple's website is encouraging worshippers to sign a petition against the changes

Locals are lobbying council chiefs to push forward proposals which would extend parking restrictions to the north side of Chatsworth Road, but will not affect the south side – allowing drivers to park for free.

They claim visitors to the Jay Shree Swaminarayan, situated on the corner of Willesden Lane and Deerhurst Road, are causing a parking nightmare outside their homes.

George Binney, chair of Chatsworth Area Resident Organisation (CARO), claims the situation reached boiling point during the temple’s 25th anniversary celebrations last summer.

Mr Binney, who has lived on the road for 21 years, said: “We have a very big problem where more and more people are visiting the temple by car and are causing parking chaos – especially during festivals and weddings.”

Residents claim illegal parking is blighting Chatsworth RoadResidents claim illegal parking is blighting Chatsworth Road

Another resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said parking had become “impossible” because of temple visitors.

He added: “I asked one woman who was parked across my driveway what she was doing, to which she replied that there was ‘no where else to park’.”

However, a temple user has launched a petition opposing the plans, which currently holds more than 100 signatures.

Rajni Bhudiya, 28, claims residents weren’t consulted. He said: “How can the council impose these new restrictions without consulting local residents first? Are we not allowed to voice our concerns?”

“If we can make more people aware of the new changes and get more signatures on our petition, the council would be forced to listen.”

A post on the temple’s website reads: “We feel that this will directly affect worshippers’ rights to visit the temple.”

Jay Shree Swaminarayan refused to comment when contacted by the Times.

Cllr Carol Shaw, Conservative councillor for Brondesbury, said: “This is a direct conflict between people who wish to protect their parking spaces and the temple, who wish to maintain facilities for their visitors.

“CARO desperately wants restrictions and I support their calls.”

Paul Chandler, head of Brent Council’s Transportation Service, said residents had requested the proposals.

Anyone who wants to comment can contact the council by emailing trafficorders@brent.gov.uk or by writing to Transportation at Brent Council, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ.

The consultation ends on February 6.


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