Work on the long mooted Shaolin Temple in the Shoalhaven is hoped to start by the end of the year.
But it won’t be the grand temple vision at Comberton Grange Falls Creek, the city has been previously sold.
Instead the project is taking a different course, a more sustainable fashion, with a view to stage the proposal.
Sydney town planning consultants and project coordinators, Urbis, have taken over as project managers for the Shaolin Foundation Australia, with director of planning Clare Brown saying moves had been made to modify the proposal.
The application seeks to modify the approved concept plan regarding the staging of the proposal and relocating the monks' accommodation and the Zen Hall.
The concept plan approved by the Planning Assessment Review also stated additional investigation work on site was required before a development application could be lodged with Shoalhaven City Council.
Ms Brown said that work was being carried out.
“Further survey work has been undertaken along Comberton Grange Road, while various technical experts have also been undertaking site reviews at the moment with a view to start the project,” she said.
“We know there has been lots of false starts on the temple previously but we are doing the investigation work to lodge the DA with council.
“We are looking at minor changes to the approval as it stands - stage one was for the bulk of the earthworks across the site.
“We want to move away from that and do the development in a more sustainable fashion.”
She said in the initial phase it was planned to establish accommodation for the number of monks who would be living at the site, as well as the meditation and martial arts hall.
“Rather than come in and do the whole development in one go, including all the earthworks, Shaolin is seeking to stage the development in a sustainable fashion,” she said.
Ms Brown, who has a Shoalhaven connection having grown up in Nowra and attended Nowra High School, understands the local feelings about the temple proposal.
“The Shaolin Foundation remains committed to the the project but it will not include the residential subdivisions or golf course,” she said.
“And the modifications do not seek to re-introduce that.
“There will be accommodation for people to come to the site - learn meditation or martial arts – the accommodation for that is part of the approval.
“There could be further stages of work at a later date.”
Ms Brown said work on the project must start before the concept plan approval lapses in September 2019.
“We must start before then and we are working with council. We are determined to get required approvals to physically start work soon,” she said.