Proposal to build a Buddhist monument in Ashdon is withdrawn

PUBLISHED: 08:31 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:02 12 March 2018

Plans for the Buddhist monument. Picture: Hibbs & Walsh Associates.

Plans for the Buddhist monument. Picture: Hibbs & Walsh Associates.

Archant

A planning application to build a Buddhist monument in Ashdon has been withdrawn following objections from local residents.

Lama Chime Rinpoche, from the Marpa House Community, said he had decided he did not wish to continue with the project as he did not want to “spoil the British culture and countryside”.

Ashdon resident Richard Shobbrook objected to the plans and said: “Rectory Lane is a single track, no through road, with no pedestrian paths, passing areas or parking places. It is used regularly by ramblers, dog-walkers and young children walking to the recreation ground.

“The increase in construction traffic and then shrine visitors would cause increased risk to those pedestrians and, whilst less important, damage to the narrow lane itself.”

Ashdon Parish Council, in consultation with the district council, said: “Members have no objections to a monument per se but have concerns regarding the height of the proposed structure, access up a narrow rural lane and parking for visitors and guests that may be visiting Marpa House and the monument in particular.”

A revised plan which reduced the height of the monument was submitted in January, however residents continued to express concern in objection letters to the council.

Julia Davies said: “The slight reduction in size of the monument in the revised plan does not change the fact that the monument will permanently alter the landscape and views of this uniquely unspoilt and historic village.”

On behalf of Marpa House, Keith Howell said Lama Chime Rinpoche had great affection for the village and had stopped the project to “keep Ashdon as a good English village”.

Mike Hibbs from architecture firm Hibbs and Walsh Associates, who prepared the application on behalf of Marpa House, said he was saddened by the decision but had the greatest respect for the Buddhist community’s decision to withdraw the application following objections from members of the public.

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