Tamil Hindu temple's warehouse plan rejected by Merton Council

This Is Local London: Nagendram Seevaratnam, with priests, will not be moving to an industrial estate in south Wimbledon Nagendram Seevaratnam, with priests, will not be moving to an industrial estate in south Wimbledon

Plans to build a Hindu temple in an industrial estate have been thrown out, prompting the backers to blame to council for giving decision makers "flawed information".

Merton Council’s planning committee refused planning permission to the Sivayogam temple in Lyon Road, south Wimbledon, by converting a former shop fittings warehouse.

The temple, founded by 74-year-old Nagendram Seevaratnam, will have to continue using its temporary site under a tarpaulin in Croydon, after it was evicted from its home of 17 years in Hebdon Road, Tooting, in May 2012.

Sarvesh Mathur, an architect who helped draw up the plans, said the council’s planning officers exaggerated the number of visitors who would visit the site.

He said: “The planning officers report was completely flawed and wasn’t representative. When I presented I told them their facts were wrong, like how we were going to have 1,000 visitors every day, which is absolutely ludicrous.

“The situation now is that we are trying to consider what the options are and decide whether we will appeal the decision.

“We had 150 devotees turn up at the meeting. They were all very upset. All of them went away with a very sad face. Everyone is broken-hearted.”

Residents living near the proposed site, in Merton Abbey Mills, had expressed concerns the temple would attract worshippers from all over south London and would use a pedestrian footbridge as an access point.

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