By Casey Neill
Springvale South now has an official cultural and worship precinct.
At their Monday 28 November meeting, Greater Dandenong councillors supported adopting a trial policy for the western side of Springvale Road, between Clarke Road and Hume Road.
It means the council will consider the area a preferred location for places of assembly or worship when assessing planning permit applications.
Officers recommended a 36-month trial and an assessment on whether the policy should be officially incorporated into the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme.
Cr Sean O’Reilly said it was “great to see the idea that I had and council supported in October 2013 come along to this policy that we have in front of us today”.
“This precinct has been growing organically and sometimes in leaps and bounds,” he said.
“This formalises council’s acknowledgement that this area has a specific type of use.
“Is there anywhere else in the world where you will see Cambodian, Vietnamese and Chinese places of faith existing side by side, operating harmoniously in a multicultural community?”
The precinct is already home to several places of worship and assembly, and council officers said it could become home to several existing groups elsewhere in the city that have outgrown their premises.
“The precinct would be non-denominational and based on a cohesive collection of multi-faith religious and cultural beliefs of the diverse community of Springvale and its environs,” the report said.
It could also become a cultural destination like Little India and the Afghan Bazaar in Dandenong, although poor public transport would need to be addressed.