Sikh temple bid fails again

By Ewen McRae

A push to reconsider a planning application for a Sikh temple in Melton South has failed.

At its August meeting, Melton council knocked back an application for the temple, due to its location within a ‘green wedge zone’.

The council maintained its position at a meeting last week when a rescission motion failed to gain support.

The proposed temple was to be built on a five-hectare site on Holden Road, Melton South, and was planned as an off-shoot of a larger temple in Craigieburn.

The proposed site of the temple lies within a green wedge zone, which places an emphasis on preserving the area for agricultural uses.

More than a dozen questions about the refusal were raised by the public during last week’s meeting and Cr Steve Abboushi asked for the council to re-consider its decision.

“There have been lots of letters of support from within the City of Melton and beyond on this project,” Cr Abboushi said.

“The City of Melton prides itself on being an inclusive community where everyone belongs, and we have an opportunity here to provide a small retreat place of worship for a very small number of people of this Sikh community.

“I stand with the applicant on this matter.”

Councillor Kathy Majdlik said the green wedge zone had to be respected when considering the site of the temple.

“The current residents who have purchased in this area, the residents that are there every single day, have purchased there for a particular lifestyle,” Cr Majdlik said.

“The area is characterised by a mixture of rural living and farming activities. It is a quiet and peaceful setting, and having people coming and going constantly does not protect current residents.”

The rescission motion was defeated seven votes to two, with Cr Abboushi and mayor Bob Turner the only ones in favour.