Tibetan temple and houses for followers approved
A temple and small village for Tibetan Buddhists are to be built in Alfriston.
Auckland Council has granted a Buddhist trust resource consent to build a temple, or gonpa, on the corner of Wastney and Ranfurly roads, with 28 houses for followers.
The temple will be taller than allowed under current zoning rules and will have room for 38 more people to stay during spiritual retreats. It will operate from 6.30am to 7.30pm every day.
The landscaped grounds will be open to the public.
Rural Alfriston contains a mixture of lifestyle blocks and rural businesses along with land bankers waiting for the city's urban limits to extend.
The 5.8ha rural site is outside the city's urban limits but is set to become a "future urban" zone, which means the area could eventually be filled with houses.
Only immediate neighbours were given a chance to submit on the plans, which were lodged by the Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal charitable trust.
Five out of six submitters were opposed for reasons including effects on traffic, flooding, wastewater and noise. Most people also felt the development would not fit the area's rural feel.
Concerns were also raised that the decision would encourage other religious or cultural groups to build on the edge of the city.
A new Mormon church is proposed at a site further along Ranfurly Rd and a group from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands wants to build a marae on Porchester Rd.
A Cambodian Buddhist group also owns land on Porchester Rd but residents have fought to stop building on that site from going ahead.
Other interested parties commenting on the Tibetan Buddhists' proposal included the Alfriston Residents Group which strongly objects to the plans.
However the commissioners accepted the advice of planners and other witnesses who said the temple would fit well into its surroundings, thanks to good landscaping and the temple's siting a large setback from the road.
Commissioners also agreed that the impact on the surrounding area - including wastewater, noise and traffic - would be minimal.
Go to aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or call 301 0101 to find out more about what is planned.