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Resident's anger over Bhaktivedanta Manor's temple proposals in Aldenham
Proposals for a new Hare Krishna Temple building in Aldenham will be the "most far reaching" plan the area has seen for decades, says a resident.
Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Hilfield Lane, says it needs the new building, called a Haveli, to accommodate its many visitors and activities, which includes weddings, schooling and worship.
However, Martin Shaw, of Hazel Tree Lodge, in Letchmore Heath, said the scheme will have a huge impact on the people of the village.
The retired chartered surveyor has written to the council watchdog complaining about plans for the new building at the temple, which was donated by the former Beatle, George Harrison.
Mr Shaw said: "The proposals are the most far reaching and potentially most significant developments affecting Letchmore Heath for some twenty years."
While the manor has not yet submitted an application for planning permission, leaflets have been distributed to the local people outlying its hopes for the additional building.
Mr Shaw said the consultation leaflets did not mention the increased visitor numbers the Haveli could mean, and were discarded by many residents.
He said: "Many in the village now being fully aware of the ramifications of the proposals find themselves too late to object."
Hertsmere Borough Council ran a public consultation on the plans last year, and in December its planning officers recommended that the planning brief for the Haveli be adopted as a supplementary planning document.
However, Mr Shaw is calling on the council watchdog to recommend a re-run of the consultation with a more detailed leaflet.
He is also requesting a meeting in Letchmore Heath village hall to allow residents to question the planning officer on the proposals.
The council said its public consultation went "above and beyond" its statutory requirements, and included leaflets being sent to over 400 residents.
Council spokesperson, Anna Cotton, said the consultation period was longer than the minimum statutory requirement and that only 15 of the 482 responses objected to the draft brief.
The manor, which was bought by Mr Harrison and donated to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness in 1972, is Grade II listed and sits on Green Belt land in a conservation area.
Gauri Das, planning spokesman for Bhaktivedanta Manor, said: "The Temple and its accommodation are extremely overcrowded.
"The Manor is popular with Hindus and the wider community, and at present people have to eat lunch in the corridors for lack of room.
"Development would simply be designed to give people an appropriate amount of space to visit and worship."
He added: "There are no plans to intensify the way the site is used or to attract more people."
He said that no additional parking would be provided and no overall increase in traffic is expected.
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