126 Greville St

126GrevilleBuilding

The Church of Scientology’s recent application to enclose their property has been approved by the Northern Sydney Planning Panel.

Originally Council Officers recommended refusal of the application but the panel asked them to reconsider what additional conditions could be imposed. Subsequently, Council officers recommended approval with additional conditions.

Two of the major concerns of neighbours was the alienation of access to the property (a conditional of the original consent) and noise from traffic into/out of the property by cars and gates. In the Panel’s opinion these were adequately dealt with by conditions.

One condition imposed was for a sign that reads:

“VISITORS ARE WELCOME TO ENTER AND ENJOY OUR GROUNDS”.

Another condition stated:

Attendance by Church representatives at Chatswood West Ward Progress
Association meetings, at least twice per year, to promote availability of cards for
regular access to the grounds and access to the bush trails.

FULL DETAILS BELOW

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION
THAT the Sydney North Planning Panel (SNPP) approves Modification Application
DA-2014/430/F to Modify Condition 77 to enable closing/opening of Greville Street
gates and modify Condition 83 regarding public access to bushland trails at 126
Greville Street, CHATSWOOD NSW 2067 & 23 & 25 Millwood Avenue, CHATSWOOD
WEST NSW 2067, subject to conditions contained in Attachment 1.

BACKGROUND
Development application DA-2014/430 was granted consent by Joint Regional Planning
Panel (currently known as Sydney North Planning Panel) on 12 March 2015 for Alterations and adaptive re-use of an existing building previously used by the National Acoustic Laboratory (NAL) for the purposes of ecclesiastical management, theological studies, church activities and associated works.

Determination of the application was deferred on 13 November 2019 and Council and the applicant were allowed time to further negotiate.

On 19 November, Council and Church representatives met for further discussion.

On 3 December 2019 Council received
 Community Access Plan of Management,
 Community Access Signage and Works,
 Proposed Amended Conditions, and
 Updated Acoustic Assessment.

The Development Application is referred to SNPP for electronic determination. This
supplementary report provides an assessment of the latest information received by Council.

DISCUSSION
The modification application seeks to increase security onsite in response to a security
incident earlier this year. The proposal is to allow for closure of the Greville Street gates and for access strictly via intercom at all times.

The amended information submitted by the Church encourages Willoughby residents to visit the grounds and to obtain access to the bush trails. A number of signage is proposed to guide and invite people into the site.

For the clarity of the message, Council recommends an additional signage to be located
below the main entry signage (below the logo “Advanced Organisation & Saint Hill Anzo”) in letters no less than 100mm in height, stating: “VISITORS ARE WELCOME TO ENTER AND ENJOY OUR GROUNDS”.

However, the applicant would like the sign to be placed anywhere else but not in the vicinity of the main identification sign. Taking into account that a welcoming sign should be easily visible from public domain and prominent enough to capture attention, alternate locations proposed by the applicant were not regarded as acceptable from Council viewpoint.

A Community Access Plan of Management dated November 2019 was submitted, noting a
number of actions including:
 The hours of access for community visitors from 7am to 6pm 7 days a week.
 Generally any household that requests an access card and provides copy of
identification card is to be provided with a security access card.
 On-site security is to enable the wider community to gain access to the site and to
bushland trails.
 Unrestricted egress from the site will be provided through the provision of exit
buttons to security gates.
Attendance by Church representatives at Chatswood West Ward Progress
Association meetings, at least twice per year, to promote availability of cards for
regular access to the grounds and access to the bush trails.

The Acoustic Logic report (no. 20140690.8/2711A/R4/TT) was revised and re-submitted,
demonstrating that, subject to recommended conditions, the noise generated by the
development will comply with relevant acoustic guidelines. The acoustic report is supported by Council’s Environmental Health Officer. Recommendations in the Acoustic report are included into recommended conditions, including “Church management should review number of parishioners using car park to ensure that no more than 20 vehicles are expected to use the car park after 10pm. If more than 20 cars are expected to leave after 10pm, the vehicular gate on Greville Street shall remain open between 10pm and 10.30pm to ensure no queuing”.

Conditions of consent summarise the main points in the additional documentation and
ensure that the Community Access Plan of Management is fully observed.

CONCLUSION
The modification application DA-2014/430/E is substantially the same development for
which consent was originally granted and has been assessed in accordance with the
provisions of Section 4.55(2) & Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and
Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act 1979), Willoughby Local Environmental Plan 2012 (WLEP
2012), Willoughby Development Control Plan (WDCP) and other relevant codes and
policies.

___________________________________________________

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