The local Brethren community had their plans for a church meeting hall in Glen Alpine rejected by Campbelltown councillors last night.
There was significant opposition from neighbours surrounding the site (161-163 Englorie Park Drive) after the application went on public exhibition early last year.
Council staff assessed to application and recommended the church meeting hall be rejected – a decision the majority of councillors agreed with.
A representative of the trust spoke at the meeting and was critical of council staff for their lack of communication.
“I’m very disappointed about the process of the application which has been in (lodged) for 14 months,” he said.
“We received no communication – up until December (last year) – of any meaningful worth.
“There was no additional information requested (by the council).
“We acknowledge the concerns are real. Effectively what we are looking for is an opportunity to address the concerns that have been raised.”
His request that the application be deferred so the trust could address those concerns was refused.
Several residents opposed to the proposal also spoke at the meeting.
Micahel Clunne – who lives next door to the site – said the church meeting hall would deny families the “right to have a neighbour”.
“I didn’t move into this area to live next door to a church hall or whatever it might be where (permanent) neighbours aren’t there,” he said.
Craig Braithwaite – who lives opposite the site – said he held fears the church meeting hall would devalue nearby properties. He was also concerned with the increased traffic and noise that would result as services would be held as early as 6am on Sundays.
“This (proposal) may fit in certain areas but it doesn’t fit in here,” he said.
“The noise will travel across and the hours of operation are a concern to me.”
The applicant’s representative said the trust had established seven similar meeting halls in the Campbelltown local government area in the past 50 years, and not a single registered complaint had been received by council.
All councillors apart from George Greiss and Ralph George (both Liberal) voted against the council staff recommendation.