Plans to build a Hindu temple in Ashton get the go-ahead

JS53419514An aerial view of the old Hurst Methodist School site. Picture: Google Street View

Plans for a new Hindu temple and community centre on the site of a former school have been given the go-ahead by Tameside council.

Councillors gave unanimous approval to the application after listening to representations in support of and against the development off Lees Road, Ashton at a planning meeting.

Members of Ashton’s Hindu community have worshipped at a temple in Russell Street since the 1970s, but say the building is no longer adequate due to size, access and parking issues.

The new temple will be based on the site of what was Hurst Methodist School, with access via Lees Road.

The building will be comprised of a number of rooms and halls, which rise to 8ft at the highest point of the structure.

The temple dome will be on top of a covered walkway at the main entrance.

Three distinct green spaces will be contained within the site, including areas of trees and shrubs as well as a planted area at the entrance of the building.

The main temple car park will provide 56 bays, with another 29 at the front of the building, including four disabled spaces.

Tony Farrell, objecting to the development on behalf of a residents group, says the temple – which will neighbour woodland – will impact on a ‘semi rural area’ and cause traffic problems.

He said: “All this is going to do is increase trips to the temple.

“The development does not improve the environment.”

But Manni Dhokia, speaking on behalf of the temple, said the impact on traffic will be minimal.

He said: “A traffic assessment in June during a busy period clearly demonstrated an insignificant impact in terms of traffic.

“We have a parking capactiy of 87 and have 50 to 60 visits staggered throughout the day.

“Our current building on Russell Street is a four- storey building, the new temple is one storey.

“We are the community of Tameside, we have been here a long time and will continue to be.

“The temple is for everybody – a valuable community asset for the people of Tameside.”