Peace palace proposals prompt concern

Friday, March 14, 2008
6.52 AM

SUPPORTERS of transcendental meditation techniques have been warned their proposals for a “peace palace” in a Suffolk village are alarming householders.

SUPPORTERS of transcendental meditation techniques have been warned their proposals for a “peace palace” in a Suffolk village are alarming householders.

The Maharishi Foundation wants to build a three storey palace to replace an education centre it used to run at Badingham.

A site for the palace has been earmarked on land off Sycamore Drive, Rendlesham, where the Foundation has been building an expensive small Garden Square estate of homes using the principles of Vedic architecture.

But the huge building, which will have 20 bedrooms on the first floor and a further 13 rooms on the top floor, is proving controversial with residents in the rapidly growing village of Rendlesham on the former Bentwaters air base.

The parish council has discussed the plans, which have been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council, and councillors do not like the impact of the building.

May Allen, Rendlesham parish council clerk, told the district council: “No councillors actively supported the proposal.

“A significant number were opposed to the proposals on grounds of concern about the size and massing of the building. A minimum of councillors expressed no strong views.”

However, the design of the building, to be known as the Maharishi Peace Palace, has been praised by the applicants, the Maharishi Sthapatya Veda (MSV) Homes company.

The company said the scale of the building, which will be an education centre to extol the benefits of transcendental meditation, is designed “to sit comfortably” with the surrounding houses, apartments and trees. The height is similar to nearby apartments and this will give it a “quiet dignity”.

Suffolk Coastal is expected to make a decision in April.