The Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, in Caldmore, Walsall, plans to demolish 12 houses to build a chapel of rest to support funeral services.

The plans are yet to be approved and the Gurdwara, is looking to demolish properties next to the temple on West Bromwich Street and the adjacent Sandwell Street and replace them with a four-storey chapel which would support funeral services in the area.

Residents have raised a string of concerns including an increase in traffic, noise, disturbance and the loss of shops and housing in the area.

The proposal is set to be discussed at Walsall Council’s planning committee meeting on Thursday 3 October.

In the application, the temple said the chapel of rest was needed by its congregation who didn’t have the facilities to accommodate mourners.

It also said the existing houses, currently used as rental properties, were small and not energy efficient while the shop – previously a clothes store – had been vacant for a number of years.

Agents M.A. Architectural Ltd said: “Within the community, a need has been identified for the provision of a suitable facility that we have termed a chapel of rest, with associated ceremonial and worship facilities for the religious congregation.

“The local community is close and all of the usual family special occasions are celebrated by, not only the immediate family, but by the community at large.

“Funerals are a typical example of this community-wide spirit.

“When there is a death, a bereaved family often does not have the facility to cater for the numbers of mourners from the community.

“As a responsible guardian of the spiritual needs of the community, the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple requests consent to develop a part of the site for a suitably sized facility that will enable the community-wide respect to be shown.”

It added that it did not expect an increase in traffic as the chapel will be used by members of the congregation that already visit the temple.

But the plans have attracted dozens of objections, including an 89-name petition and around 70 individual letters of objection to the scheme.


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