Council blocks plan for pyramid
Plans to build a 15 metre-high meditation pyramid and community facility at Horsham Downs have been rejected by a Waikato District Council-appointed commissioner.
The proposal was to develop the site in three stages, with the first stage involving the construction of a meditation pyramid, toilet block and car parking as well as landscaping.
Stage two involved the construction of a meeting/dining room and kitchen with a foyer, office space, storage areas and further car parking.
The final stage proposed the addition of a 400-seat auditorium.
Hamilton City Council opposed plans for the striking 435sqm pyramid on the city's fringes, saying it was non-rural use of a rural area, and lay in the path of a potential transport corridor for a future river crossing.
The man behind the pyramid proposal, Morrinsville dentist Dr Rakesh Jogia, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
In documents provided to Waikato District Council he had said the pyramid, with a 52-degree internal angle that replicated the famed Great Pyramid of Giza, would provide a restful, contemplative environment for meditation.
Dr Jogia said the site was chosen because it would eventually be brought within Hamilton City boundaries.
A traffic impact assessment by Aecom concluded the proposed development would increase the volume of traffic in Reynolds Rd and the number of turning movements into the site. However, the assessment said the meditation centre would have a less than minor impact on the roading network.
After considering nine public submissions - eight opposed and one neutral - along with other factors, commissioner David Hill declined Dr Jogia's application.
The district council could not comment further about why the plan was rejected.