Tattenhoe temple plan withdrawn in Milton Keynes

Plans for a new Hindu temple and community hall in Milton Keynes have been withdrawn amid a flood of objections.

A London company called SHITAL, from Wembley, had applied to build an 894-sq-m two floor building on Milton Keynes Community Foundation land to the east of St Agnes Way, in Tattenhoe.

St Agnes Way, Tattenhoe

St Agnes Way, Tattenhoe

It would have accommodated the Shirdi Saibaba sect which teaches love and unity, and be open from 8am to 8.30pm every day of the year, near Tattenhoe Sports Pavilion.

Scores of objections were lodged with Milton Keynes Council, with many saying that the design of the temple would be out of keeping in the area.

Planning documents lodged with Milton Keynes Council show the temple would have been constructed from recycled steel shipping containers, and painted with marine paint.

“The parkland across the road is protected,” said objector Marie O’Neill. “It’s an area of beauty, 28 shipping containers piled up into two storeys with a spire on top and painted bright yellow – it’s alarming to imagine.”

And Kevin Stokes said: “Having had a single storey extension initially rejected as it would grossly affect the street scene, I fail to see how 28 purple shipping containers will not affect the street scene and the area of Tattenhoe, this is also not in keeping with the MK vision plan of things blending into the local area.”

The issue of parking and traffic also raised local blood pressure.

Objector Katie Watkins said: “The middle of an established estate which already experiences traffic and parking issues is no place for a building that is expecting a lot of users where traffic and parking have not even been considered.

“There are a lot of areas under development in Milton Keynes that would be a suitable location for a building expecting this many users, the middle of Tattenhoe next to a highly used sports pavilion is not one of them.”

A proposal that the car park at the Westcroft district centre could have been used as a park and ride for the temple provoked opposition from WM Morrison supermarkets.

Morrison’s firm of solicitors Eversheds Sutherland, wrote to the council to point out that the car park was not to be considered as a park and ride for the temple.

“Use of the car park is restricted to the retailers and customers of Westcroft Retail Park, as clearly indicated on signs located at various points around the car park.”

And Karim Jaffer, the club president of Tattenhoe FC, which uses the pavilion, said: “An already chaotic situation on the roads and with parking would be made much worse.

“The application would place a huge burden on the roads and create a safety risk at the junction with the V1, Snelshall Street. Alternatively, traffic would flow through the Tattenhoe estate, on narrow roads, again creating a safety risk to residents and children.”