Oxford to see its very first Hindu temple as plans move forward
Plans for a permanent Hindu Temple and Community Centre moved another step closer to reality as Oxford City Council granted approval for their planning application recently.
The council-owned sports pavilion changing rooms at Court Place Farm, Marston, will be converted into a temple and community centre, subject to finalising details on the lease.
Dr Gian Gopal, Founding Chairman of the Oxford Hindu Temple Project said, “We feel extraordinarily proud at this historic moment as we look forward to creating a welcoming hub at Court Place Farm which will strengthen community cohesion, widen participation & serve the local community with activities, workshops & an inclusive community place once all details are finalised.
“Our thanks go to Anneliese Dodds MP, Leader of the Oxford City Council Susan Brown, Councillor Shaista Aziz and Councillor Linda Smith who have been instrumental in bringing this about.”
The council has been in discussion with the Hindu Temple for a number of years over its aspiration for a permanent site. It marketed Court Place Farm pavilion last year and the Hindu Temple bid for it through an open market process.
Councillor Shaista Aziz, in her previous role as Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities, and Councillor Linda Smith in her previous role as Cabinet member for Parks and Leisure, have been involved with the discussions for some time.
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities stated, “Oxfordshire’s Hindu Community have been working hard to establish a permanent base of their own for many years and the approval of this planning application is great news for all the campaigners and fundraisers who have got the project to this point. The City Council and OHTCC will now focus on finalising the details of the lease so we can all look forward to the new centre opening and starting to deliver community benefit.”
Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing added, “I’m absolutely delighted that another milestone in the foundation of the new Hindu Temple and Community Centre has been reached, The old football changing rooms at Court Place Farm have been unused and derelict for many years and the newly approved plans propose to make fantastic use of the site, creating Oxfordshire’s only Hindu Temple as well as a community hub offering activities to the wider public.”