UK office building likely to be turned into gurdwara

by IANS |

London, Jan 17 (IANS) A three-storey office building in the UK, could soon be transformed into a Sikh temple if plans are approved.

An application has been filed by a Sikh community member with Telford & Wrekin Council to move the current gurdwara in Oakengates to Abbey House in Shropshire's Telford region, the shropshirestar.com reported.

The Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Oakengates covers an area of 6,573 sq ft, less than a quarter of the size of Abbey House.

The Abbey House building was until two years ago, leased by the council to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs). It was built in 1990, and provides 28,886 sq ft of space.

"The intention is to use this building as a place of worship for the Sikh Community in Shropshire and surrounding areas," Inderjit Singh Gill wrote in the application.

According to the report, the upcoming gurdwara will provide kitchen and community services, and there will be a Sikh priest living on the site.

While the move has been largely supported by the Sikh community members, a few of them have raised objections to the proposal

"The current property is freehold and the new proposed property is only a leasehold which will cost so much to run, it is our family temple that we have used since being born - we do not want it to get shut or moved," Sukhjit Singh, a community member, told Shropshirestar.

Singh further said that it took 30 years of hard work to make the Oakengates gurdwara fully sustainable.

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