Riddells temple bid

By Jessica Micallef

A Buddhist temple and two cabins to host weekend retreats has been proposed for Riddells Creek.

Macedon Ranges council received a planning permit application to build a place of worship and accommodation in the form of “re-locatable cabins” at 1483 Riddell Road.

The application proposes a 259.2 square metre Buddhist temple and two cabins to accommodate up to 10 people. The site would be used to host two weekend retreats each month.

A planning report states the proposed cabins would be “of those found in a caravan park – prefabricated and brought to the site”.

The Planning Professionals lodged the application with the council in September.

The subject site is about 8.1 hectares and is one kilometre north-east of Riddells Creek.

Riddells Creek resident Ben Miqueu said a Buddhist temple would be a welcome addition to the town.

“We like diversity in the area and having a Buddhist temple is no different to having any other place of worship,” he said.

“It would have very minimal impact. In fact it would have a positive impact. It would bring tourists and visitors to the town.

“I do hope they [the council] take into consideration the vast majority of people who … are willing to welcome these types of developments.”

However, Riddells Creek resident Michelle said the proposed plan was not “feasible” and did not fit in with the town’s rural character.

She said the temple would be better suited in the heart of Riddells Creek.

“It’s [Riddell Road] a 100km/h zone,” she said. “There is no proposal on widening the road to accommodate all the traffic that would come in and out.

“Move it into town where there is more safety, where it’s a 60km/h or 50km/h zone, where the
comings and goings are slower.

“We welcome anybody but I don’t think where they are planning this is really good.

The outskirts of Riddell are one household properties with cows, horses, sheep and alpacas,” she said.

“The look of the temple is definitely not in keeping with the local area.”

The council’s planning and environment director Angela Hughes was unable to say when a decision will be made on the application.

She said the council was considering all submissions and waiting for information from referral authorities.