A request from an ethnic Melton group to use property they already own for a language school has been turned down by Melton council.
The West Melbourne Hazara Solidarity Community has purchased property in Caroline Springs with the intention of using it for general gatherings and for a language school, but the plans have been criticized by the community.
A report to a Melton council meeting on February 7 said council had received 24 objections to the application, centered on concerns that the proposal was inappropriate for a residential street.
Residents were also concerned that traffic in the cul-de-sac would increase if the request were approved.
In its application, the group said there would be no more than 30 people on the property at any given time.
However, residents raised concerns that the attendance cap could not be guaranteed.
Residents also felt there was no guarantee that music would not be played on the property.
The council’s statutory planning co-ordinator, Steve Finlay, said council officers raised their concerns with the group early in the application process and advised the group not to proceed with the application.
“At the time the officers said it was good use, but it’s just an inappropriate site for the use and we’re happy to work with them to find a more appropriate site for the particular use of the land,” Mr Finlay said.
Councilors voted to reject the application because it was not in line with residential area planning and “would adversely impact the residential amenities of neighboring residents”.
The council offered to work with the group to find a more suitable site.
West Melbourne Hazara Solidarity Community has been contacted for comment.