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Sikh temple says Seven Kings car park development will leave mourners nowhere to park for funerals

PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 October 2020

Redbridge Living's proposls for Seven Kings High Road. Picture: Redbridge Living

Redbridge Living's proposls for Seven Kings High Road. Picture: Redbridge Living

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Plans to build hundreds of flats in Seven Kings will leave Sikh mourners with nowhere to park during funerals, temple leaders have warned.

Seven Kings gurdwara says it can hold four or five funerals a month and mourners need to be able to park. Picture: Paul BennettSeven Kings gurdwara says it can hold four or five funerals a month and mourners need to be able to park. Picture: Paul Bennett

The council’s building company Redbridge Living Ltd hopes to build 236 new flats in three blocks ranging from 11 to 14 storeys on a public car park near Seven Kings station.

However, the general secretary of the Seven Kings gurdwara says the place of worship has a long-standing agreement with the council that it can use the car park when it holds funerals.

A petition created by Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East and signed by hundreds of people calls on the council to build a multi-storey car park on the site instead.

One signatory, Balvinder Saund, wrote: “That car park is the last of the open spaces left in this area.

“We need a car park for the gurdwara community as our people are picking up penalty notices when they attend funerals.”

Another worshipper, Ajay Pal Singh, added: “I go to the Sikh temple regularly and struggle every time to find a car park space. That would be more difficult if any such construction takes place.”

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Another signatory, Caroline McCarthy, wrote: “This car park is very much needed by the visitors and regular shoppers in this area. Our side roads cannot accommodate more cars parking in them.”

The gurdwara’s general secretary, Balvinder Singh Rayat, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the gurdwara sometimes holds as many as four or five funerals a month.

He said: “If they can give us a facility to park (on the new development) we will be quite happy but I do not think so.

“We spoke to our local councillor but at the moment we have got only that facility and nothing else.”

The council hopes to build 160 market rate flats and 76 “social, intermediate or affordable rent” flats, as well as one of the borough’s six new “community hubs”.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans states the plan “embodies Redbridge Council’s commitment to investment in Seven Kings”.

It adds: “In addition, this development on an underused site will provide new homes for which there is an acknowledged urgent need.”

Redbridge Council was contacted for comment on September 29 but has not yet responded.


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