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UK Neighbors Pleased As Councils Orders Sikhs To Shut Temple


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Neighbours pleased as council orders Sikhs to shut temple
By Amanda Williams »

BULLDOZERS are set to move in at a Sikh temple which has been ordered to shut after lengthy protests from neighbours.

Oxford’s Sikh community claim they will be left ‘homeless’ after Oxford City Council decided they can no longer use the house in Marston as a temple.

Since 2006, Sikhs have been using 69 Cherwell Drive to hold weekly prayer meetings.

But they have now been ordered to stop using it as a place of worship with immediate effect.

City councillors decided they would not be allowed any more time to look for an alternative to the ‘unsuitable’ property and would have to stop using it for worship immediately.

The Sikh community has been looking for new premises since January 2009, when the city council refused an application for retrospective planning permission to change the use of the three-bedroom semi-detached house from a place of residence to a place of worship.

The council also instructed them to demolish a single-storey extension to the rear of the property, which is used as a congregation room.

It followed concerns from neighbours about chanting and car parking issues.

Neil Holdstock, who lives next to the temple, said: “The local residents are pleased with the decision of the councillors to push forward with enforcement, as any further extension to the period would make a mockery of the processes in place.

“The Sikh community has been given ample opportunity by the council to find somewhere else, which has been extended many times due to appeals and delay in bringing proposals to meetings.”

Last year, an appeal by the Sikh community to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate was dismissed and the group was given a year to find new premises.

But despite desperately searching for alternative premises, nothing suitable has yet been found.

Councillors at a north east area committee meeting on Tuesday voted six to one in favour of officers seeking immediate compliance, and instructing the Sikhs to leave the house.

The Sikh community has considered a number of properties – three former pubs, including the Fox and Hounds in Abingdon Road, a number of warehouses and office blocks, and plots of land in East Oxford.

But the group is restricted as to where it can set up a temple because Sikhs are not allowed to pray anywhere which currently serves alcohol or meat.

Pargan Singh Mattu, of Cherwell Drive, Marston, said they now faced a commute to temples in Banbury, Swindon and Slough.

Sikhs do not have a specific holy day, as they meditate, pray, sing hymns and read scripture every day, but traditionally meet for prayers on a Sunday because of work commitments.

He said: “We don’t want to stay here, we can’t move without assistance from the city council.

“We’re not asking for handouts, we’ve got money and are willing to pay the going rate for the right property.

“All we’re asking for is help and advice in finding the right place.”

Gursharn Rayat, of Wheatley, said: “The Sikh community is a law-abiding people. We abide by rules and regulation.

“What will the council do, now that it has made the Sikh community homeless?

“We now have nothing. All the facilities provided by the Sikh Centre and efforts to enhance the lives of the Sikh community have gone to waste.”



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Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Sultanpur Lodhi was declared a HOLY CITY by badal...his adminsitration bulldozed all butcher shops out of the city (as meat is considered un-holy ??) But Bars and roadside thekas selling alcohol remain open at every corner - in front of schools, gurdwars, etc !!).BUT the Best thing is Sultanpur Roads have RAW SEWAGE flowing along at height of 1 ft or more..people wade through daily...HEAPS of Rotting rubbish dot the landscape of this HOLY CITY....ALL 1000000% of effort went into removal of BUTCHERS !!
we have our priorities wrong as we are MOORAKHS as Guru Ji called us. Gurmatt has no restrictions..Guru nanak ji went to Mecca..hardwaar..kumbh..sajjan thugghs DERA OF MURDER..etc etc and to Bhai lao a lowly carpenter..BUT Guru nanak ji refused to vist the RICH and Oppulent in their Mansions and rich foods such as MALIK BHAGO. Today any SIKH will "kill" or "seel" his mother to be able to get into a Rich mans Mansion...BUT wont even look at a Carpenters Shanty even if paid a handseome sum !! Thats how it is proven that we have our Prioroties WRONG,,we are different form Guru nank jis SIKHS.


Aug 17, 2010
World citizen!
Since when did the past matter so much that change is not allowed? Just because somewhere used to be a pub, should that mean it can never change its colours? Surely how the building is used in the future is more important? :confusedmunda::confusedkudi:
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