Brethren bolsters carpark spaces and appoints gate-keeper for proposed Thurgoona church services to appease residents

THE Brethren has made some slight amendments to a development application for a church in Thurgoona to address strong opposition from adjoining residents.

Updated plans submitted to Albury Council include increasing the size of the carpark to cater for 27 cars and a gate-keeper will be appointed to ensure a smooth flow of cars in and out of the site at service times.

The church will be used solely for worship, prayer and bible readings for a maximum 90 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

But the planned 6am Sunday service remains vehemently opposed by residents since the plan was unveiled earlier this year.

The Sunday morning service time and other issues including traffic management were raised at a community forum this week by residents Jillian Forbes, Lauren Medway, Howard Peck and Jarrod Cooke.

“I don’t understand how an organisation which uses biblical references as their reason for 6am services on a Sunday can care so little for the other residents of a court they would like to be part of,” Ms Forbes said.

Mr Cooke fears cars will start converging on the church around 5.30am on Sundays.

The forum was told an alternative entry to the church off Kerr Road was not possible and the Brethren was prepared to re-visit the fence design which was also a concern for residents.

Brethren planning consultant Warwick Horsfall down-played the traffic impacts on residents with the church gate located 25 metres from the Kerr Road intersection.

“No dwelling in the court has to be passed by traffic associated with the church,” he said.

Mr Horsfall said the church would be used for only six hours per week and won’t host funerals, weddings and baptisms.

“The church could have less impact on the amenity of the area because it is unoccupied for the majority of the time,” he said.

“If the applicants were not to proceed with their proposal the lot, because of its size, would most likely become a target for multi-dwelling development.”