Buddhist centre plan for Norwich

Dereham Times 24, May 14, 2008

Norwich, UK -- A Buddhist retreat could soon be open for meditation and religious festivals.

Murray Wright, a senior ordained Buddhist, has applied for retrospective planning 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 and includes a meditation area, shrine, and sleeping 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.

This is the second time the application has been submitted, last year it was turned down by Breckland Council because planners felt the retreat would have had too much of an impact on the countryside.

A spokesman for the council said: “The new application is very similar to the last one. It was refused last year because there are quite a few buildings on the land and the building in question was the furthest away from the others. It was felt it would be an intrusion on the countryside.

“The new application involves the same building but with landscaping plans so it will not be such an intrusion into the countryside.”

Mr Wright is applying for a three year temporary planning permission for the Buddhist centre.