The not-for-profit association bought the land six years ago and the monastery was included in National Geographic’s book of ’500 of the world’s most peaceful and powerful destinations’. The Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery has done lots of bush regeneration on the property, planting more than 4000 rainforest species including koala food trees. Venerable Pannyavaro says the land was specifically purchased for a sanctuary and hermitage, and said the monks do not see themselves as the owners but rather the custodians of the land. They wish to rehabilitate and care for the 95-acre property while providing a tranquil setting where people can come to meditate.
“We are practising Buddhists who are trying to service the community’s need for mental health and wellbeing,” Venerable Pannyavaro said. “Vipassana meditation has a great therapeutic benefit. We see the community being built up here over the years and we have a good relationship with the neighbours.”
Then there is the Northern Gateway scheme to create a business park near Pear Tree, to provide 3,000 jobs and 200 homes. But here, the city will have to content itself with “encouraging” developers
and landowners to come forward with [mva1837].
“There’s still a lot of work to be done but we made a lot of progress tonight,” said Fire Commissioner Alan Schapiro said about the meeting, which was an informal hearing.
Later this month, council officers will meet British Railways Board officials to discuss developing the huge Oxpens site, to create between 400 and 500 homes in the city centre.
The coalition’s Government’s decision to axe the South East Plan – the regional blueprint for development until 2026 – damaged the prospect of 4,000 homes being built south of Greater Leys because
it handed the decision back to South Oxfordshire District Council, which opposes the idea.