A Hindu temple is set to benefit from a larger prayer room after its extension plans were approved by the council.

Harrow Council’s planning committee unanimously backed the scheme at the London Sri Ayyappan Kovil Temple, in Masons Avenue, Harrow.

It will see the first floor at the site grow by more than 200 sq m, which will create more room for worshippers.

But the number of visitors is not expended to increase, while the council is imposing restrictions on the maximum number of people using the temple at any one time.

There were concerns from some nearby residents about parking – as well as a potential loss of daylight and sunlight at neighbouring properties – and two petitions with 80 signatures criticising the proposals were handed in.

But Beverley Kuchar, interim chief planning officer at Harrow Council, explained that tests were conducted to ensure that lighting levels remained “acceptable”.

She added that the council’s highways team had no issues with the parking situation, and the temple must implement a travel plan by August 30 for the planning permission to remain valid.

These points were supported by planning agent Rodger Pidgeon, of Lamont Planning Associates, who said “care has been taken” to ensure that neighbouring properties would not be affected.