High Court appeal to stop meat plant next to Sikh temple in Bradford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Govinder Singh Dhaliwal wuith Dr Kuldip Kaur Bharj Govinder Singh Dhaliwal wuith Dr Kuldip Kaur Bharj

A Sikh community in Bradford is going to the High Court to try to stop a meat processing plant being built next to a temple.

Worshippers at the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara building, which fronts on to Leeds Road, have objected to a proposed expansion by neighbouring supermarket chain Pakeezah.

The food firm, which wants to convert a car workshop in Percival Street into a wholesale meat plant, received planning approval by Bradford Council in August, despite opposition from the Sikh community, many of whom are vegetarians.

The group has now applied for a judicial review against the Council’s ruling, which could delay the work for up to 12 months.

Govinder Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary at the temple, said: “We were left with no other choice. We feel very offended by this attack on our religious sensitivity and must fight for our cause.”

Speaking after a Bradford Gurdwaras board of representatives meeting in August, a spokesman suggested that allowing the development to go ahead would set a precedent for other places of worship.

More than 200 members of the Sikh community who visit the temple lodged formal extensions to the plans in August, and Mr Dhaliwal said the group was “very unhappy” that its pleas had been rejected by the Council.

Julian Jackson, the Council's assistant director for planning, transportation and highways, said yesterday: “A judicial review application has been submitted challenging this decision and a judge’s decision is awaited as to how this matter will be dealt with. In the meantime, any work carried out is, of course, at the owner’s own risk.”

Pakeezah director Tariq Haq told the Telegraph & Argus in August that the meat plant was an extension and would “not affect the temple in any way, shape or form”. He did not want to comment further yesterday.

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