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UK Scraps Sikh Baron’s Plan To Set Up Club Near Gurdwara

BIRMINGHAM -A renowned Sikh entrepreneur in the UK had to face the ire of the community and a Sikh councillor for making a proposal, that was later dismissed, to convert a public house building near a gurdwara on the busy Soho Road of Birmingham into a stripping and dancing club.

The appeal by H Singh Sidhu to set up a Gentlemen’s Club, that provides entertainment for gambling, dancing and parlour games at Barrel Public House, was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate of Birmingham on April 12 this year.

The appeal decision, a copy of which is with the TOI, said the club would represent an “inappropriate and incompatible use” of the shopping centre that principally provides a shopping function and is at the heart of the local community, with several education, social, health, community, cultural and religious and faith facilities.

“‘I conclude that the appeal scheme of the club involves the risk of crime and unsocial behaviour as, which cater for the diverse community in this area”, said inspector Stephen J Pratt, who was appointed by the state for communities and local government. The club proposal, that was made last year in October, was first challenged by Birmingham city councillor Narinder Kaur Kooner.

Kooner, who has been the city councillor since 2006, had written to the Planning committee of the city that the club would have a negative impact on the neighbouring residential amenity which is in close proximity.

‘Most of the occupants at these properties are known to be young families. There are also religious places of worship near the front of the site and also near the rear – these operate 24 hours a day’ she said.

Kooner,in her response to Sidhu’s proposal hadalso raised objections on the club’s decision to only be open from 2100-0600 hours during the night-time and early morning, “It would add little to the daytime vitality and viability of this centre” she said. She is now taking up the cause of similar temples of faith facing the menace of clubs in the neighbourhood.

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