A BIG townhouse development, approved by Wodonga Council, is being taken to a planning tribunal in a move labelled a "waste of ratepayers' money".
Objectors to a project to construct homes on Havelock Street land, occupied by the city's Lutheran church, have appealed to VCAT, with a hearing set down for next week in Wodonga.
They focused on the 20 townhouses' impact on traffic, neighbourhood character and the skillion roof style.
Alatolo Bros general manager Tony Moyle, whose firm is developing the site for the church, is upset.
"It meets all the requirements of the Wodonga Planning Scheme, we've ticked all the boxes and jumped through all the hoops," Mr Moyle said.
"It's a waste of everyone's time and ratepayers' money and I'm disappointed we're held up this long and VCAT is standing in our way."
Mr Moyle declined to say what approach his side would take in the hearing, but noted site work was now unlikely to begin until 2020.
"The time delays are going to add costs to the project that weren't foreseen and the potential buyers we hope they will still be there once the project is approved but there's no guarantee they will be there," he said.
The 16 three-bedroom and four two-bedroom townhouses had been expected to sell for $450,000 to $500,000.
The objection to the development was made on March 20 by David and Deborah Bennett, who live in Ethel Lane which faces the rear of the church block.
Mr Bennett declined to comment when contacted by The Border Mail.
It is understood they are not the only party to the objection and those concerned with the project are not attempting to have the development halted altogether.
The Bennetts are not related to Wodonga deputy mayor Kat Bennett, who absented herself from debate in February on the grounds she had family living in the vicinity of the church.