Court approves Glenhaven mosque

Hills Independent
Court approves plan for Glenhaven place of public worship despite Council and community disapproval

The Land and Environment Court has given the go ahead for a place of public worship at 1 Larapinta Place, Glenhaven.

The decision was handed down on Monday, March 28, by the Commissioner of the Court Joanne Gray who described the proposed development as being “acceptable having regard to the absences of adverse impacts, the objectives of the zone and the character of the area”.

However, the Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi has hit back, describing the decision as “incredibly disappointing”.

“The State Government talks about putting locals first and including them in the decision making process, but this outcome just proves how out of touch they are with local community issues,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“This proposal fails to adequately deal with the RU6 Transition Zone objectives, as well as the noise, traffic and parking this type of development will generate. It also has little regard to the rural landscape and will unacceptably impact on the natural environment, as well as the neighbouring properties located within the quiet cul-de-sac.

“It’s unsatisfactory that our rural land is being exploited in this way because it’s a cheaper alternative to building on urban zoned land – the more appropriate location for a development of this size.

“The outcome could have been prevented if the Department of Planning allowed Council to stop this sort of development in our RU6 Transition Zone much earlier on in the process.

“I’m calling on the Minister for Planning to cut the bureaucracy and let councils get on with looking after their own local planning matters,” Mayor Gangemi added.

Mayor Gangemi said that Council was not against places of public worship, but the location.

“Given the intensity and scale, Council wanted to see this type of development located in our urbanised areas – where there is adequate pedestrian access, public transport, roads and a sewer network.”

“We have attempted to meet with the applicant on a number of occasions to discuss alternative sites, however, they’ve remained unchanged in their decision and adamant on this site,” he added.

Hills Shire Councillor Mitchell Blue, who was formerly the Chairperson of Friends of Glenhaven, also disagreed with the Court’s decision.

“Glenhaven residents spoke as one on this issue,” Clr Blue said.

“Residents agreed that the site was not conducive to a place of public worship, due to the scale and intensity that this facility will bring. Time after time, the applicant was provided with opportunities to amend plans and details to make this facility fit.

“I do not believe this facility is in keeping with the land zone objectives and intentions.

“This decision by the Court is in stark contrast to the thousand plus submissions from the Glenhaven community and that is highly disappointing,” Clr Blue added.

Mayor Gangemi thanked residents for their support and said that Council would work hard to prevent further urban sprawl in the rural areas of the Shire.

“I thank residents for their submissions during the DA process and their efforts in highlighting the many issues this proposal has,” he said.

“It’s disheartening that Council is unable to be the consent authority on developments over $5 million as a result of State Government imposed planning panels, but we have sought to find alternative solutions to protecting our rural lands.

“In 2020, we were successful at prohibiting places of public worship in our RU6 Transition Zone thanks to changes that were approved as part of our Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

“While the Larapinta Place DA was lodged before these changes were implemented, this Council has continued to work hard and campaign successfully against urban sprawl in our rural areas, and this is not limited to places of public worship, but also seniors living,” Mayor Gangemi added.

As part of the Court’s decision, approval was also granted for the demolition of the existing structures and works associated with constructing a place of public worship, including the basement car parking and landscaping. An updated Plan of Management and Traffic Management Plan were submitted to address requirements of the judgement.

Main image: artists’ impression of the development.

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