London Oct 18 (BAN/SL) A major Hindu temple in Neasden famously known as The swaminarayan Temple Neasden has won a application to rename a road which it stands on. The road will be renamed after the guru who founded it, despite opposition from those living there.

This week on Monday October 12 Brent Council’s cabinet approved an application by Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, also known as Neasden Temple, to change a section Meadow Garth to Pramukh Swami Road.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was president of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) movement, which is followed at Neasden Temple. He died in 2016 aged 94.

Brent council have stated the temples position as a “international landmark” in Brent, and acknowledge its contribution to the borough.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said he appreciates these concerns but, overall, the name change would be a positive step.

He said: “We are at a juncture in society where we will be discussing a whole host of community issues.

“Brent has always been a welcoming community – its diversity makes it unique and is what makes it such a successful borough.

“Recognising the achievements of all our communities is one of the ways we can create a cohesive society.”

Some resident living in Meadow Garth are resentful by the change of road name even though they recognise the temple’s contribution to the community and its offer of compensation to those affected by any change, they believe the negatives would outweigh any positive impact.

However during these difficult times the Temple has done tremendous charitable work for London, it’s residents, hospitals and key workers.

Brentfield Primary School, warned that any change would split its address and suggested it “does not reflect our community or the school community”.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, who represents Dudden Hill ward, welcomed the application, describing the mandir – the largest Hindu temple in Europe – as “part and parcel” of Brent and a site of global significance.

He added it was good to see a road name change linked to a “positive contribution” rather than those associated with negative

By Sushma Lobo

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