The development of a religious temple in Wungong has hit a significant roadblock with Main Roads WA not supporting direct access onto South Western Highway.
The proposed development on the 35-acre lot was approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel in February this year and has the support of the City of Armadale and the Western Australian Planning Commission.
It is a project that will be completed in three stages, the first being a new house and new Hindu temple with an amenities block, followed by a hall to be used for cultural activities, weddings and special occasions and the third stage being a restaurant, which will be open to the public, serving vegetarian food.
Owner Ramana Bhat said the initial hurdle was finding a block of land that had enough room and didn’t impact on the owners of the neighbouring properties.
With approvals sought, Mr Bhat said the only stumbling block now was Main Roads’ decision not to approve the access point despite the city and planning commission believing South Western Highway is the best option.
“They (Main Roads WA) want us to use the right of way situated at the rear of the block and leading onto Wungong Close, which is a fire hazard,” he said.
“Using the right of way would mean that if a fire was at the rear of the property patrons would have to travel more than 500-metres towards the fire to escape onto Wungong Close.
“The other main issue is that Rails Crescent and Wungong Close are quiet, semi-rural streets and using these roads would have an impact on the residents’ lifestyle.”
Member for Darling Range Alyssa Hayden has come to the defence of Mr Bhat and spoke in Parliament this week asking for common sense to prevail.
“The access in question consists of an unconstructed right of way that has been described as little more than a ‘goat track’, which traverses an abutting lot,” she said.
“It would force people coming from the temple to travel through an extreme bushfire hazard area and would not comply with the state’s bushfire guidelines.
“The proponents have indicated that they will construct a slip entry allowing traffic to safely slow down and enter the property, creating a safer transition that is currently occurring.
“Main Roads’ preferred alternative of Rails Crescent has no such slip lane and cannot accommodate the up to 250 people who will be in attendance at the temple during peak times.”