The proposed Hindu temple would accommodate up to 50 persons per service.
In a move that has captured the attention of locals and raised questions about land use in the area, an application to build a Hindu Temple in Werribee South has been submitted for planning permission. The proposed site, at 428 Diggers Road located in an area predominantly characterized as farmland and associated with the Werribee South Intensive Agriculture Precinct, has stirred curiosity and some concerns among the community.
The site in question, while surrounded by farmland, also features various other land uses including dwellings, farming, commercial ventures, and community facilities. To the rear of the proposed temple location, just across a narrow drainage way, sits the Warringa Park School. This institution is a specialist school catering to children between the ages of 5 and 18 with intellectual disabilities. Recently, the school underwent significant redevelopment with new buildings and classrooms.
The application seeks planning permission for the proposed use of the site as a Place of Worship and the construction of associated buildings and works. According to the application, a Place of Worship is defined as “land used for religious activities, such as a church, chapel, mosque, synagogue, and temple.” The proposed Hindu temple would accommodate up to 50 persons per service.
The temple’s main building is expected to have a floor area of 498 square meters, covering 31.4% of the total site area. The main structure will be set back approximately 20 meters from the frontage of the site, featuring a 2-meter-wide landscape strip, car parking areas, an internal driveway, and a double crossover for access and egress. The temple is designed as a single-level structure, including a worship room, entrance, kitchen, bathrooms, disabled facilities, and equipment storage. The worship room will be 19.3 meters by 18 meters, with a kitchen of approximately 4.51 meters by 4.71 meters.
In terms of design, the temple will have a modern aesthetic with colorbond cladding, prefabricated concrete tilt panel walls, and a corrugated colorbond roof. The building’s overall height will be 7800 mm.
The proposed hours of operation for the temple are from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on 11 days per calendar year. The application states that the temple, as a Place of Worship, aligns with the diverse community’s needs in Wyndham and promotes inclusive religious practices. It is also deemed consistent with the maintenance of the green wedge, as it does not impact agricultural land and occupies a small, unoccupied site adjacent to the Warringa Park School.
The development reflects the nearby built environment, especially the new school buildings to the west. The proposal emphasizes modern architectural features, such as colorbond roofing and concrete tilt panels, and includes a communal area, kitchen, and restroom facilities to meet modern expectations.
The site layout allows for landscaping to soften the built form, and environmental considerations will be incorporated to enhance sustainability. Specifically, provisions have been made for wastewater treatment through a rear effluent field.
It’s important to note that while the site is located in an area of strategic farmland, the land parcel itself is relatively small and has not historically been used for farming. The proposal emphasizes that there will be no net loss of farming land.
The application highlights that the temple’s use will not be isolated, as there is a school to the rear, housing to the south, and various small businesses in the vicinity. The Place of Worship is expected to have a limited impact on the site and is less intensive in its daily operations compared to a dwelling or the school itself. Considering the school’s function in supporting special needs children within the same locality, it is believed that the addition of a Place of Worship to a small, vacant allotment will not affect the viability of nearby farmland.
The estimated cost of the temple’s development is $950,000. The application’s future awaits the decision of the local authorities and the responses of the community, who will be closely watching how this proposal unfolds in the coming months.