Scientology update

We recently wrote to Council seeking clarification about the Conditions of Consent for the operations of the church. Here is the response:

:” am writing in response to your correspondence dated 5 September 2016.  Your email was forwarded to me by your local Ward Councillor and raises concerns regarding the recently opened Church of Scientology.

I have reviewed the relevant documentation, made additional inquiries with the staff involved and can now advise you:

  • Development Consent DA-2014/430 was granted by Council 0n 12 March 2015 for, “Alterations and adaptive re-use of an existing building for the purposes of ecclesiastical management, theological studies and church activities, and associated works/uses including; demolition of an existing dwelling; construction of a pedestrian bridge, bus layover, passenger waiting area and new lift enclosure; and, use of an adjoining dwelling as a caretakers cottage”.
  • Construction Certificate CC-15261 was issued on 11 November 2015 by Accredited Certifier Dean Goldsmith of Blackett Maguire & Goldsmith.
  •         The Operational Plan of Management was lodged with Council on 3 June 2015. It was approved by Council on 1 June 2016.
  •        An Interim Occupation Certificate was issued on 4 August 2016 by Accredited Certifier Dean Goldsmith of Blackett Maguire & Goldsmith. The Interim Occupation Certificate excludes Room 3.404 Level 3, the bus stop, the new driveway, the accessible ramp and waiting area adjacent to Millwood Avenue frontage.

 In relation to the specific matters raised in your correspondence dated 5 September 2016, I can advise you as follows:

  1. “The bus bay on Millwood is not complete. We assume that this was a condition of consent and that the premises cannot be used until this is finished”.

Advice:

The bus bay is a requirement of the Development Consent. However, it appears that the works have not yet been completed. An Interim Occupation Certificate was issued on 4 August 2016 by the Accredited Certifier. The Interim Occupation Certificate excludes the bus stop.

  1. “The fact that it is believed there will be church members living on the site surprised many. We thought this was a day time use only with mandated arrival and departure times”.

Advice:

Development Consent DA-2014/403 was granted for the use of church activities only. No residential accommodation has been approved onsite (other than within the caretakers cottage, previously known as 23 Millwood Avenue, Chatswood).

Conditions of Development Consent DA-2014/403 restrict hours of operations of the premises to:

The hours of operation of the ‘business premises’ and ‘place of public worship’ are restricted to 8.30am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week.

Except for security staff and/or cleaners, all staff, parishioners and visitors shall vacate the premises no later than 10.00pm.

  1. How many day-time students will be coming to the site. We thought three busload i.e. around 120 but hearing numbers in the high hundreds being bandied about.

Advice:

Development Consent DA-2014/403 requires an Operational Plan of Management be approved. There are no conditions of consent that restrict the number of visitors. The Operational Plan of Management stipulates the number of staff but does not stipulate numbers of visitors.

The Statement of Environmental Effects submitted with the Development Application (which form part of the supporting information for the application) details “maximum number of people on site at any one time is 460 people (290 staff and 170 parishioners). Actual numbers are expected to fluctuate below the maximum, and will range throughout the day”.

Regards

Peter Conroy

       PLANNING & INFRASTRUCTURE DIRECTOR

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