2:40pm Friday 16th March 2012
By Bruce Thain
Plans for a new multi-purpose building at Bhaktivedanta Manor have been discussed by politicians.
Last night councillors on Hertsmere Borough Council planning committee looked at the draft plans for the Hare Krishna Temple in Aldenham.
The current proposals are to build a new Haveli, or community building, which would replace existing structures on the site and remove the need for marquees in the summer, which have been a source of complaints from people living near the site.
The new building will be a single story structure and council officers hope it will satisfy the manor’s wider needs such as hosting weddings, worship and providing extra dining areas.
However councillors raised concerns about the size of the proposed building and the impact it would have on planning applications on green belt land in the future.
Councillor Simon Patnick said: "In this brief there would be an 18,000 feet increase in floor space, which is huge. We have to think about the people of Letchmore Heath and the effect that will have on them.
"During some of the manor’s festivals there are 60,000 people visiting the site, and that is a huge number in the green belt and this needs to be considered."
The planning brief was produced by the council after a long period of consultation with ISKON, who run the manor, to find out their needs for the site as place of religious worship.
Committee members' views on the brief will now be passed to the portfolio holder for Planning and Performance, Councillor Charles Goldstein, before going out for public consultation.
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