Meat factory put on hold
Plans to build a meat factory next to a Bradford –based Sikh Gurdwara have had to be put on hold until the new year after a judicial review was lodged by objectors.
The Pakeezah meats division site was set to be opened next to the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara on Leeds Road yet had been criticised by members of the Sikh temple.
The plans have now been put on hold until the row is settled at the High Court next year, despite originally being passed for approval by the Bradford council members.
It was lawyers, acting on behalf of the Sikhs, that lodged the application for a judicial review yet the High Court's decision on whether to grant it is not expected before summer 2014.
Barrister Kuljeet Dobe, who is representing the Sikh objectors, said: “A decision won't be reached soon, but at the very least we have delayed Pakeezah’s meat plant by at least 12 months.
“Bradford council have told the company not to start work until the judicial review decision is made.”
Pakeezah owner, Tariq Haq, was not overly-fazed by the review believing there is nothing wrong with building the unit in its proposed location.
He said: “As far as I am aware we are just carrying on as normal. We are not slaughtering animals and there is nothing that can be deemed offensive happening at the site.
“We are simply just trading as we have been for the past 20 years and will continue to do so to serve our customers. This site won’t be offensive and I hope that is realised.”
“I am neither on one side or the other as I see why both parties are so concerned with the site.
“It is a very emotional subject for the people of the faith but what we have to realise is that Bradford isn’t economically thriving at the minute and as such if a particular company is doing well and wants to expand their wishes have to be understood.
“If it were a slaughterhouse it would be a completely different matter. The fact is that at this site no animals will actually be killed, it is just a cutting plant where meat and carcasses will be cut into the different shapes.
“Also, the issue that people say it is next to the Gurdwara is not completely true as the building is a detached property on its own site so there is some space separating the two.
“Muslims happily shop in Tesco, Asda and Morrison’s where halal produce is sold near bacon yet they don’t complain but rather just ignore it as they don’t want that particular product. We don’t live in Pakistan or India, it is the UK and we have our own democracy which has to be respected.
“What really needs to happen is both parties come together to agree on certain ways to go forward. If the Sikh community’s main prayer time is on a Sunday for example, I’m sure that, if they asked, Pakeezah would perhaps stop their activity during this time. It is communication which is needed.”