Riddells Creek Buddhist temple bid

Riddells Creek has been eyed as a peaceful setting for a Dharma Buddhist temple and weekend retreats.
An application to Macedon Ranges Council seeks to build a temple and two cabins on the eight hectare property at 1438 Riddell Road, in the Rural Living Zone.
The proposal seeks to host weekend retreats at the site twice a month for up to 20 guests, with the number of visitors reaching 30-40 about twice a year on special occasions.
Typical weekend activities would include prayer, meditation, meditation training and physical training (karate, aikido), with a philosophical approach that concerns “the training and wellbeing of mind, body and soul”.
The proposed temple design has been modelled on the traditional Japanese Buddhist style and would be 259.2 square metres with a height of about 6.6 metres. Natural materials and colours would be used.
The application is now being advertised and is expected to go before councillors.
Earlier this year, Macedon Ranges Council refused a Buddhist temple and assembly hall proposed for Gisborne South that had attracted 52 objections based on loss of amenity, traffic concerns and environmental impacts.
The Lao Buddhist Society of Victoria proposal sought to host a monthly Alms Giving Ceremony with up to 120 participants and an annual Buddhist New Year celebrations that would attract up to 200 participants, as well as daily food offerings and weekly meditation for up to 15 people.
The proposal was originally recommended for approval by council officers.
An appeal has been made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the matter is expected to be heard next month.

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