Permission sought for Buddhist retreat

Derehanm Times, July 5, 2007

Hardingham, UK -- Plans for a Buddhist retreat in Hardingham, near Wymondham, have been submitted to Breckland Council.

Murray Wright, a senior ordained Buddhist, is seeking retrospective permission for the place of worship at his home in Mill Road, Hardingham.

The retreat is set around a pond, water meadow and stream leading to Blackwater Creek. It includes a meditation area, shrine, and sleeping and living area for three to six people.

Mr Wright and up to five of his meditation students will use the centre for solitary retreats of between one week and two months, daily meditation practice and occasional religious festivals, which would also involve no more than three to five people.

In the application Mr Wright's agent, John Popper, wrote: “He is seeking to reflect the 2,500-year-old tradition of Buddhist practice, supporting the need for plain shelters, solitary and communal practice, simple lifestyles, departure into wilderness areas, stillness in action, and links with ponds and lakes which figure strongly in the Far Eastern Buddhist literature, as do wooded groves and clearings for small gatherings away from worldly cares and concerns.”

Mr Wright, who works in a local construction business, is applying for a three-year temporary planning permission for the Buddhist centre.