Plan for meditation rooms, statue at new Buddhist temple

PLANS for a Buddhist temple in Ipswich have been scuttled after the a community push against the development.

Minh Quang Buddhist Monastery lodged an application in April to turn a home at 92 Fiona St, Bellbird Park, into a place of worship.

The monastery was proposed to include a caretakers residence, library, meditation rooms and a toilet block.

Near the meditation hall a three-metre high Bodhisattva statue, made of white granite, was proposed to serve as a location for "mind development and individual praying in a serene, peaceful and quiet environment".

"There is no drumming or any other type of strong noises, including loud chanting or singing will be emanated from the monastery," the application noted.

"Nearby residents will not be disturbed by noise.

"Silence is the thing most appreciated in the temple premises."

Several Bellbird Park residents voiced their opposition to the development.

"I believe a Buddhist temple is incompatible with the suburban setting, particularly given the applicant states most activity will occur on the weekend," Rachel Grant wrote in her submission to the council.

She said Minh Quang Buddhist Monastery had been underhanded in its plans for the site.

"If the applicant had been more open with the community and consulted with neighbours in the first place, they may have found less resistance to their plans," she said.

Other Bellbird Park residents raised concerns about the number of trees being cut down on the site and the effect on koalas.

The Minh Quang Buddhist Monastery said its facilities were intended for the learning of "Buddha teaching and practising of meditation for self development and social harmony".

"The development will satisfy local community needs as there is no other place of worship in Ipswich that is based on the Vietnamese Buddhist Tradition," it notes.

The application was withdrawn on July 22.