A SMALL Buddhist community in Wanstead has been dealt a blow after their bid to fight a ban on using a semi-detached house as a temple was turned down.

Four monks who live at the home in Blake Hall Road appealed to the Government's Independent Planning Inspectorate earlier this summer after Redbridge Council refused them permission to continue using the property as a place of worship.

The group were not expecting to hear back from the inspectorate for at least another few weeks, and so were stunned when a letter landed on their doorstep informing them that their legal battle had failed.

Maung Maung Thein, who spearheaded the appeal, said the monks and worshippers would not give up.

He said: “We're very, very disappointed. It is a great shame.

“The inspector said she was concerned about parking and noise, but these are problems you get all over London. We are telling the truth in acknowledging these issues but we are being penalised for that.

“But this is not a noisy place and we feel any parking concerns can be overcome.

“We are going to have a think and decide what to do next. But it's not the end.”

Worshippers, and those taking meditation and language classes with the monks, will now have to be turned away from the house.

In her ruling, inspector Ann Skippers said that while she had received letters of support from residents, she was concerned about the impact of visitors on its residential location.

She said: “I am not convinced by the evidence before me that there would not be a harmful effect on the living conditions on nearby residents with regard to noise and disturbance generated by both visitors and the use itself or that there would be adequate parking.”

Ms Skippers added that not enough information had been provided about noise levels by the monks, and that a proposal to tell visitors to travel via public transport instead of by car was “not enforceable”.

Ms Skippers said there was also “uncertainty” about the number of visitors to the house, despite estimates from the monks that between seven and 12 people visit it per day on average.