Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Sikh temple application rejected

Sikh temple
An application for retrospective planning permission was rejected

A Sikh community in Oxford may have to find a new home after a ruling that a house cannot be used as a temple.

Sikhs have been using 69 Cherwell Drive in Marston as a place to meet and pray for nearly three years.

But the city council has turned down a retrospective application for consent to use the house as a place of worship.

The council said it received dozens of objections from residents worried about parking and noise. Worshippers have six months to lodge an appeal.

Residents' petition

Kulwinder Kaur, who prays at the temple, said: "We're frustrated by the council's decision because we've been trying to have this house for many years - now we have nowhere to go."

Another member of the Oxford Sikh community, Pargan Singh Mattu, said: "We have just got this place to the stage where we can practise our religion.

"Now we're told it has to be closed within six months. It's shocked us all.

"We'll try and go back to the council, and if they can find somewhere suitable we will be grateful."

About 30 people attended the makeshift temple once a week.

The city council said it received seven letters of objection and a petition of 92 signatures against plans to allow the house to continue to be used as a temple.

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