London, April 10, 2014 (Agency)
In a first legal victory for the Sikh community in Britain, the planning permission for the setting up of a meat plant near a gurdwara in northern Britain's Bradford city was cancelled by the Bradford City Council Wednesday.
Councillor David Green, who heard the "grave concerns" of local people against the planning application of supermarket chain, Pakeezah, said: "In light of the legal advice we have received, we would rather not spend any public money and have therefore decided not to oppose the judicial review," The Telegraph and Argus newspaper reported Thursday.
The supermarket chain received approval for the plan from the Bradford City Council in August last year, despite opposition from the Sikh community, many of which are vegetarian.
Worshippers at the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, which fronts on to Leeds Road, objected to a proposed expansion by the neighbouring supermarket chain, which wants to convert a car workshop in Percival Street into a wholesale meat plant.
In December last year, the Sikh group had applied for a judicial review against the council's ruling, effectively delaying work for the meat plant by 12 months.
More than 200 members of the Sikh community who visit the gurdwara had lodged formal objections to the supermarket's plans.
Commenting on the Council's decision, the gurdwara's general secretary Govinder Singh Dhaliwal said they were grateful for all the support they had received from Bradford's other faith groups on the matter.
"This decision by the council strengthens our belief in the democratic political process, which has responded to public opinion," Dhaliwal said.
Dhaliwal also thanked Sikh barrister Kuljeet Singh Dobe, who had represented them on a voluntary basis.
Pakeezah director Tariq Haq was unavailable for comment.