A 520-seat auditorium and cafe planned for Officer township could rival the Cardinia Cultural Centre as a venue for large group gatherings.
Cardinia Council approved ambitious plans for the Tivendale Road development at Monday night’s town planning meeting.
Proposed by the Follow Baptist Church, the venue would be used principally as a church, but would be available to schools, community groups and other organisations for use.
The church group also planned to base some of its community projects – such as the Bless Collective food van that operates at Bourke Park – at the venue.
The build would include 157 car parking spaces, and a later, second stage, would include further meeting rooms and storage, if approved.
In welcoming the plans, Cr Brett Owen said the church was being treated like any other developer and would be required to also build its section of a shared footpath and make a $500,000 developer’s contribution.
He said this would be hard for the church, but they hadn’t shirked.
Councillors also applauded the group’s decision to build in the township – with the additional costs of being in the Urban Growth Boundary – and being part of the community, rather than seeking land in the surrounding green wedge areas.
In backing the plan, Cr Leticia Wilmot also noted the venue would have a greater seating capacity than the Shire’s own 356-seat Cultural Centre.