NEARLY 2,000 people have signed a petition against plans for a huge new supermarket and flats beside a Sikh temple in Hounslow.
Leaders of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, in Hanworth Road, Hounslow, claim the proposed development could harm its 'relationship' with the wider community.
A petition signed by 1,986 people, including members of the temple and local residents, was presented by Councillor Darshan Grewal at last Tuesday's (January 29) borough council meeting.
Developers last year announced plans for a five-story building including a Sainsbury's and about 60 flats on land beside the gurdwara. The old William Dye works has lain empty for more than a decade but in recent years has been taken over by a group of eco squatters and used as an overflow car park for the temple.
Leaders of the gurdwara claim the proposed development is too large and offers no 'mitigating benefits' to residents, like a public square. They are concerned it would increase traffic on surrounding roads and could have a negative impact on the regeneration of Hounslow town centre.
They have also raised fears about the sale of alcohol and tobacco at the supermarket, both of which are banned within the temple's grounds.
The petition states: "The gurdwara has existed in harmony with the surrounding residential communities for many years. This relationship and the successful work of the gurdwara will be threatened by the proposal."
Developer Bride Hall, which has yet to submit a planning application, has claimed the development would revive the long-derelict site and create 300 jobs at the supermarket.
A spokesman for the developer said he was 'disappointed' to hear of the petition, having met representatives from the gurdwara and St Stephen's Residents Association.
He added that an independent report had suggested on-site parking would be sufficient for residents and shoppers, but the developer would be happy to further discuss concerns raised in the petition.