VIDEO: Bradford Sikhs win fight over meat plant near Leeds Road temple

Govinder Singh Dhaliwal outside the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara

Govinder Singh Dhaliwal outside the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara

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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

A Sikh community in Bradford has won a legal battle to stop a meat processing plant being built next to their temple.

Many Sikhs are strict vegetarians, and worshippers at the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara building, which fronts on to Leeds Road, said they felt offended by the expansion bid by supermarket chain Pakeezah.

They told planners that hearing carcasses being cut up would upset worshippers at prayer.

Despite their protests, a planning panel at Bradford Council granted the food firm permission to convert a car workshop in nearby Percival Street into a wholesale meat plant in August last year.

Worshippers then vowed to challenge the matter in the High Court and the Council yesterday said it had decided not to defend its decision meaning Pakeezah’s planning permission is now void.

The Gurdwara’s general secretary Govinder Singh Dhaliwal said they were delighted by the Council’s decision and were grateful for all the support they had received from Bradford’s other faith groups during their fight.

He said: “This decision will strengthen the relationships among the faith communities and their support is a good example of community cohesion.

“This decision by the Council strengthens our belief in the democratic political process, which has responded to public opinion.”

Mr Dhaliwal said they were also grateful to Sikh barrister Kuljeet Singh Dobe, who had represented them on a voluntary basis.

Council leader, Councillor David Green, said: “We have listened to the considerable concerns expressed by local people and groups about the planning application. In light of the legal advice we’ve received, we’d rather not spend any public money and have therefore decided not to oppose the judicial review.”

Pakeezah director Tariq Haq was unavailable for comment yesterday.

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