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No listing status for old temple

PUBLISHED: 15:55 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:10 23 August 2010

A HIGH Court application to have an historic Sikh temple listed as a building of historical significance has failed, according to the council. Campaign group SAVE Britain s Heritage were behind the application for the Siri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in C

A HIGH Court application to have an historic Sikh temple listed as a building of historical significance has failed, according to the council.

Campaign group SAVE Britain's Heritage were behind the application for the Siri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Clarence Place, Gravesend.

The Sikh temple, which was built in 1872, was due to be demolished after developer Thamesview Living applied to build 19 flats on the site, which was granted by Gravesham Borough Council, but that was overturned following a successful legal challenge by SAVE last month.

Responding to SAVE's failed listing application, which the council announced yesterday (Wednesday) Mike Snelling, leader of Gravesham Borough Council said: "I am delighted as this confirms my own view that the building has no real architectural merit and for this reason and for the sake of the future amenity of the residents of Clarence Place, should be demolished as originally planned."

SAVE called for a judicial review after Gravesham Borough Council approved plans for the demolition of the building in August.

The campaign group argued that the church falls within the Windmill Street conservation area and that it was a landmark building which made a positive contribution to the area.

The church was built in 1872, and was previously the Milton Congregational Church. It was designed by Sir John Sulman, responsible for more than 70 churches across the country.

William Palin, director of SAVE, speaking after they had called for the judicial review, said: "We think the decision to permit this demolition is contrary to the council's conservation policy, laid out in a recent conservation area appraisal.

"Given the damage inflicted on Gravesend during the Blitz and later as a result of post war, road led development, the decision to condemn this building seems all the more tragic and short sighted."

Hundreds of Sikh's who have used the building for decades are expected to move to the new Gurdwara being built near Khalsa Avenue.

The Gurdwara management committee decided to sell the building to the developer for about £3million.

A spokesperson for SAVE was not available for comment as the Reporter went to press.

The council said it has yet to receive another application for the redevelopment of the temple.

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