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An artist has put together a sketch of what the statue could look like (S Sarkar)

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Plans for Derby statue of prominent Sikh leader approved

Sandish Shoker & Nigel Slater

Plans for a monument of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia riding a horse in battle and a new gate for the Ramgarhia Gurdwara have been approved by Derby City Council.

It will stand at the entrance of the Sikh temple in St Thomas Road, Derby.

The gurdwara's management said the statue would "add to the diversity and cultural value of Derby City".

Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia lived between 1723 and 1803 and those behind the application said he and other leaders helped Sikhs in Punjab, India to both survive and protect their land from enemies.

In 2023 Sikhs will be celebrating their achievements and the Maharaja's 300th birthday, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
A new commemorative entrance gate called "Ramgarhia Gate" and a new boundary wall will also be built at the gurdwara.

The application said the statue would be about 3m (10ft) high and placed on a stone pedestal.
Planning documents on behalf of the applicant by SREAR Design said: "There is a strong Sikh population in Derby and it is planning to commemorate that period of time and specifically one leader, Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia.

"Hence the occasion is a once-in-a-lifetime event with unparalleled significance."

During the planning process, documents stated there could be a "slight negative indirect impact" on the listed former Sherwood Forester pub "due to the gate's dominance".

However, council bosses said any impact was not enough to refuse the application.

Derby City Council said: "It is considered that the proposed archway and statue will be visually in keeping with the current cultural character of the site and will not have an adverse visual impact on the surrounding area.

"It is accepted that the proposed replacement boundary wall will cause some harm to the setting of the heritage asset but that any harm would not be so significant as to justify a refusal."

The council said it had worked with the applicant to ensure the highways specifications had been met.

The Ramgarhia Gurdwara has been approached for a comment.
[Courtesy: BBC News]

March 03, 2022   

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