FRESH PLANS at the site of a former Sikh temple in Oxford are causing concerns for residents.

Members of the Sikh community had been using the three-bed semi at 69 Cherwell Drive, Marston, to hold weekly prayer meetings since 2006 without planning permission.

For years, neighbours had repeatedly raised concerns about noise and parking issues.

In May this year, after repeated warnings by Oxford City Council to stop, the group was forced to move.

The council also ordered them to demolish a single-storey extension to the rear of the property, which was used as a congregation room.

Now a fresh application has been made to create a second house on the land, along with an extra parking space.

Neighbour Neil Holdstock said he and other residents were against the proposals.

He said: “We are worried about the pressures on parking and the fact that it wouldn’t fit in with the area.

“We are also finding out if we can argue about loss of natural light because that’s what would happen in our garden.”

The new proposal would see the erection of a two-storey side extension to the existing building to form a new one-bed house.

The latest planning application has now been called in to be discussed by city councillors who claimed the site’s long history meant it would “benefit from public debate”.

Mr Holdstock added: “There’s just no need for a house on that site.

It wouldn’t fit with the rest of the street.”

The Sikh community using the site was refused retrospective planning permission to change the house into a place of worship in January 2009.

An initial application for the one-bedroom house was turned down in September due to issues including parking and the roof design, but the latest application has been recommended for approval by planning officials.

Marston Parish Council has also raised no objection.

City planning officer Mark Spragg said: “While the site has previously been the subject of an enforcement notice relating to its use as a Sikh Centre and place of worship that use has now ceased and the enforcement notice has been complied with.”

He added: “It is considered that this proposal has addressed the previous reasons for refusal.”

A decision is due to be made by the city council’s east area committee on Tuesday.