New Sikh temple to open in Letchworth with cost of
Letchworth GC, March 14, 2005
A new £500,000 Sikh temple is to be opened in
part of the former Irvin parachute factory in Icknield
Way, Letchworth GC.
The Sikh community intends to convert part of the
ground and first floor of the main building and the
sports and social building as a temple with recreation
and social rooms.
The ground floor will become a library/study area
with the temple above. The loading bay along the western
side will be demolished for car parking, giving a
total of 60 spaces. The front of the factory will
remain as offices.
North Herts district councillors last week approved
the plans unanimously - a verdict that was greeted
with delight by the Sikh community.
"We are very pleased with the council's response,"
said Surjit Singh Basra, who runs a supermarket in
Pixmore Avenue. He said it would cost £400,000
to buy the site and a further £100,000 to renovate
it but was confident the money could be raised.
"This is for the whole Sikh community in Letchworth
and the surrounding villages," said Mr Basra,
who lives in Buntingford.
"It will be the only gurdwara with 60 parking
spaces on the site, bigger halls and a lot of facilities.
The idea is to involve the whole community."
NHDC planning officer Alan Breckon told Letchworth
councillors that statistics from Hertfordshire Highways
indicated that up to 145 parking spaces should be
provided for the site but they would probably be happy
with about 100.
"It is not possible to get more than 60 in but
a robust green travel plan will bring the number of
car parking spaces necessary down and a lot of the
community would walk," he said.
Cllr Lorna Kercher said: ""It would be
a good use of this building. Having gone round it
they have got a rather large task and I wish them
luck with that but I wholeheartedly support it."
The new temple will be used for children's classes,
social events and weddings, catering for up to 300
people mainly at weekends.
The green travel plan aims to encourage shared use
of cars and alternatives such as cycling, walking
and using buses.
It is hoped that the new temple will reduce parking
problems around the gurdwara in Gernon Walk.
The parking and travel arrangements will be reviewed
after six months.
Mr Basra said he hoped the new temple would be open
this year.( thecome24)