A Brethren meeting hall in Glenmore Park has been given the green light, despite community opposition.
Slated for the corner of Forestwood Drive and Bradley Street, the prayer hall will present as a dwelling house and include a drive-through garage with 11 car spaces at the back, to be built on a vacant 1,038sqm block.
Penrith City Council received 27 submissions during the exhibition period, 21 of which raised concerns about the incompatibility of the development with the residential area, inconsistency with the zone, traffic and parking issues and visual and acoustic impacts.
Six submissions were received from Brethren Church members supporting the development and indicating they live within walking distance.
Lodged by Kingswood Gospel Trust late last year, the development application (DA) was given the all clear on October 28 after being referred to the Penrith Local Planning Panel for determination.
“The site is suitable for the proposed development, the proposal is in the public interest and there is unlikely to be negative impacts arising from the proposed development,” the Major Assessment Report states.
According to the DA, the extra meeting hall is to cater for growth over the coming years and will be the 10th meeting room of the Brethren Church of Penrith, which boasts around 396 members from 106 households.
The Brethren Christian Church will operate no more than four hours per week, with a maximum congregation of 40 members at a time, 50 on special occasions five times per year.
Services, including ‘The Lord’s Supper’ each Sunday morning from 6am to 7am, are to be conducted with the doors and windows closed.
Located in the suburb’s newest subdivision, Mulgoa Sanctuary, the site has two adjoining residential properties to the north and east, while the land to the south and west is for open space purposes.
In February, Kingswood Gospel Trust representative Greg Joyce told the Weekender the development would have very minimal impact on road congestion in the area.
Members of the Brethren Church usually adhere to a doctrine of separation from the outside world and often don’t socialise with anyone outside the movement, though this is not a strict policy.
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.