Brethren church’s Glen Alpine proposal given the thumbs down

Not happy: Glen Alpine residents including parents Joanne and Michael Clunne with daughter Gigi are strongly opposed to a church meeting hall being established on the land behind where they are pictured. Picture: Chris Lane
Not happy: Glen Alpine residents including parents Joanne and Michael Clunne with daughter Gigi are strongly opposed to a church meeting hall being established on the land behind where they are pictured. Picture: Chris Lane

Thou art not welcome in Glen Alpine.

That’s the message from Campbelltown Council staff to representatives of the Georges River Road Gospel Trust – a Brethren church.

The trust’s application for a church meeting hall in Glen Alpine, with a capacity of 70 people, was placed on public exhibition early last year – causing widespread angst among dozens of nearby residents.

Residents were particularly concerned with the planned service times at the 161-163 Englorie Drive site. The church proposed to hold weekly services at 6am-7am on Sundays and 6.30pm-7pm on Mondays, as well as a monthly service from 7.15pm-9pm on Fridays and a 5pm-6.30pm service every nine weeks on a Sunday.

The application also included a 20-space car park.

Council staff outlined seven reasons why the application should be refused including inconsistencies with the character of the area; the proposal being “contrary” to council planning controls, “insufficient” documentation provided to assess the application properly and the potential to “set an undesirable precedent”.

The ultimate decision will rest with councillors who will vote on the matter at next Tuesday’s council meeting.

There were 38 objections to the proposal lodged with council during the public exhibition period.

A petition with 106 signatures opposing the development was also submitted.

Joanne Clunne, whose house is located next door to the site, said was she “extremely happy” council staff had deemed the proposal inappropriate.

“It’s a relief and it shows you can’t just go into suburbia and set up a church meeting hall wherever you want to,” she said.

“It’s nice to know council get behind you occasionally and I’m proud of them for making a stand.”

One of the more vocal opponents of the proposal, Pauline Brockbank, said she was also pleased to hear the council staff had recommended the application be rejected.

“I’d be very happy if it didn’t go ahead,” she said.

“It’s good to know someone is listening.”

The trust also submitted a similar application for 161 Englorie Drive in 2014 but withdrew the application. The neighbouring block, 163, was purchased by the trust following the withdrawal.

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