By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A proposed funeral parlour in the heart of a Springvale South residential area has been quashed by Greater Dandenong Council.
Councillors on 12 March unanimously overruled a council planner’s report that recommended the project’s approval at 69-71 Athol Road, previously the home of a Jehovah’s Witnesses church.
The proposal by Zaly Pty Ltd attracted 30 formal objections on the grounds of traffic congestion, road safety, parking access, noise and mental health concerns.
Cr Youhorn Chea moved for the proposal’s rejection due to it being an unsuitable location and adverse traffic impacts.
“In this area we have a lot of Asian people living there.
“If we have a funeral parlour, the neighbours don’t feel safe.”
The key issue was the funeral parlour was whether it was a “non-residential land use within the core of a residential zone”, according to a council report tabled on 12 March.
Located 230 metres from the nearest primary school, the parlour was “appropriate and compatible within a residential zone”.
It would serve the needs of the community and wouldn’t be impacted by noise of industrial areas, the report stated.
“As evident by other areas of the municipality, funeral parlours are typically located within residential areas.
“Funerals are an aspect of human life, and perform necessary services that seek to assist the community long term.”
Under the proposal, the parlour would host one funeral service a day for up to 80 visitors.
It would allow for a dead person to be laid in the casket overnight before a service, but not an on-site mortuary for the storage and preparation of the deceased.