By Brendan Rees
Narre Warren South residents in a semi-rural court are objecting to a proposed church to be built due to traffic, noise and other concerns.
Casey council has received a planning application, proposing to develop land at Bartok Court in Narre Warren South for the church, including a caretaker’s dwelling and extension to an existing building.
The plans propose to operate the church seven days a week and be capable of accommodating 180 people, have a 14 metre bell tower and 54 car parking spaces with three extra parking spaces for the priest and his family – on less than 1.25 acres.
It’s not known what type of church is proposed.
It would also extend the existing slip lane in the centre of Pound Road to serve both the medical centre at Pound Road and the place of worship, as well as removing nine trees.
Des Yapp and his wife Marie who have lived at Bartok Court for over 20 years fear they will lose their privacy with more cars creating “extensive congestion” and an “inevitable overflow” of car parking.
“They’ve got to go down this driveway right next to our bedroom window to get to their church – this is once Bartok Court is formed,” he said.
He added the bell tower was also “going to be ringing right in our ear.”
“We have about 10 objections from people who will be directly impacted by the traffic flow in the court,” Mr Yapp said.
“As they come out of the driveway their lights are going to be pointing straight into the neighbour’s window.”
“Unless permanent access has been granted by Casey Council and VicRoads the access and egress to the Medical Centre and the Casey Christian Reformed Church onto Pound Road would also be removed,” he said.
Casey Council manager of statutory planning and building services, Duncan Turner said: “The application and concerns from residents will be reported to the Planning Committee Meeting on 14 August 2018 for a decision.”
Mr Yapp said residents believed there was “one well known councillor” who was “pushing like anything” to get the development signed off: “We think he might have the numbers to do it.”
According to Mr Yapp a number of residents along Pound Road had not even been notified by the council about the application.
He said if councillors approved the application, they would be “ignoring the very people that that they are supposed to be representing for the sake of cheap votes.”
Mr Yapp added “there has been a revision removing the dwelling and relocating the community centre under the church and raising the church to a height of 15 meters.”
Objectors also believe amplified music from private functions held at the church will “disrupt” the quiet residential area.
Another Bartok Court resident, David Thornton said the proposal would “impact the area detrimentally.”
“We have invested over $1 million on our land and house, and this will cause the valuations to suffer.”