Plan to transform prison into Buddhist centre inches closer

A PLAN by a Buddhist group in Toowoomba to transform a former prison in Westbrook has gained the support of council planning officers.

Pureland College Association, a group founded by Venerable Master Chin Kung, wants to change the former Queensland Government correctional facility at 48 Althaus Rd into an educational establishment, place of worship and childcare centre.

The proposal includes refurbishing the former correctional centre which has a gross floor area of 9392sq m.

The development site will occupy the eastern part of the subject land and will be the first phase of development of the whole site.

Eventually the site will become a multicultural educational and training associates village.

A further development application for that plan is expected to be lodged next month.

The land is bounded by the Gore Hwy to the north and is the site of the former Darling Downs Correctional Facility which ceased operation in 2012.

Uses for the land will include spirituality, morals and virtues development, multi-faith and multicultural teachings and activities through proposed multi-faith multicultural centre.


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There will be a preparatory and primary school for grades 1 to 6, a library, hall, and front office and administration building.

There will also be a uniform shop, a coffee shop, and on-site student and staff accommodation for tertiary education and primary school.

Throughout the centre there will be 114 accommodation rooms, providing on-site accommodation for up to 245 people.

The childcare centre will include a maximum of 88 students and eight teachers.

A total of 275 parking spaces are proposed.

Planning officers found the proposal involved a range of community related activities and uses which directly supported them and was "consistent with the intent of the zone".

The region's councillors will vote on the development on Thursday.

Should the plan to transform Westbrook prison into a Buddhist school be approved?

This poll ended on 11 January 2017.

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