Developers eye up Sikh temple in Northampton as space for 10 new flats
A Northampton temple that has been the home of Sikh communities for decades could become a block of flats once its worshippers move out in the new year.
The Siri Guru Singh Sabha gurdwara in St George's Street has entered its last few months as a home for Northampton Sikhs ahead of the launch of a new temple in St James next year.
After two years of construction, the new £2million gurdwara in St James Mill Road is scheduled for completion in February 2020, complete with a 120-space car park, community rooms and a gym.
However, developers are already sizing up the current temple in St George's Street for renovation.
A plan has been submitted to the borough council to convert the former place of worship into a block of nine one-bedroom flats and one studio apartment.
Developers Nevitec Investment Ltd hopes to use the former temple to build the apartments across three floors and the basement, with no designated space for parking and would instead rely on on-street parking.
It comes after developers earlier this year suggested using the temple to create 17 flats - but this plan was met with objections from residents.Despite the proposal, St George's Street's gurdwara is still in use by Northampton Sikhs and will operate until the new temple opens early next year. The Sikh community no longer owns the building.
Speaking in 2017, Sikh leader Amarjit Singh Atwal, who is one of the project leaders and trustees, said: "Our current gurdwara in St George's Street (near the town centre) just doesn't have the number of parking spaces we need.
"The building we have at the moment, we can't perform big wedding ceremonies, big funerals and big celebrations.
"This will give us four-or-five times the capacity and we will have our own 120-space car park."
The St James Mill Road gurdwara has been part-funded by donations from the Sikh community and a loan from Natwest.