Hillsong development proposal to be determined by CSPC

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An independent planning assessment of a $78M proposal by the Hillsong Church to build a seven-level office building and a 2,700 seat church with 679 car parking spaces in Rosebery recommends the application be refused.

The Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC), which determines development applications in the City of Sydney valued at more than $50M, will meet on Thursday 3 July at 6pm in the Wesley Conference Centre to consider the matter.

The meeting is open to the public and people are invited to attend and register to speak.

The independent assessment by Angelini Planning Services - commissioned by the City of Sydney - found the proposal exceeded height, parking and floor space limits and would exacerbate traffic problems in the surrounding residential streets.

"The proposed development is one of medium intensity commercial development of a height and scale that does not match the predominant building form in the locality," the report says.

"A high intensity Church use will generate significant traffic movements and demand for parking during periods (weekends in particular) that are generally associated with a reduction in traffic movements and parking demand.

"It is not considered acceptable on planning grounds to effectively duplicate week day peak traffic volumes for significant periods of the weekend in close proximity to residential land uses."

The report found that both the proposed 33.3 metre tall office block and 17.9 metre tall auditorium exceed the maximum building height of 12 metres. Although an existing former RTA office on the site currently exceeds the height limit, the report said that replacing one anomaly with a similar anomaly on the same block of land is questionable from an urban design point of view.

The report also found the floor space ratio for the development of 1.62:1 exceeded the maximum allowable ratio of 1.5:1.

The independent planner examined six different traffic management assessments commissioned by Hillsong, City of Sydney and Rosebery residents.

A report by MWT in May 2008 commissioned by City of Sydney found the traffic generation for the site will be 428 vehicles per hour during the weekday AM peak, 530 vehicles during the PM peak and 1350 per hour for the Sunday services peak.

"It is generally accepted by all [six separate] reports that: The use of the auditorium component of the proposed development will generate additional traffic on the local and wider road systems when used for church services," the planning report says.

The City of Sydney notified more than 3,400 nearby properties about the development proposal, advertised the application widely and held a public meeting on February 14.

More than 1092 individual submissions were received including 276 objections and 816 letters and emails of support. Petitions for and against the proposal were also received.

Objectors were concerned about traffic and parking issues, noise and amenity loss while submissions in support said Hillsong would create social benefits for the area and the proposal included a large 5,667 square metre publicly accessible park.

Members of the CSPC will listen to comments from members of the public for and against the proposal before discussing the matter.

The CSPC was established by the State Government in 1988 and is made up of seven members including three City of Sydney representatives, two senior State Government employees and independent experts appointed by the Planning Minister. The Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP is the chairperson of the Committee.


Thursday 3 July 2008
6 pm - 8.30 pm (doors open 5.30 pm)
Wesley Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney

Speakers: Members of the public who wish to address the meeting are required to register their name by phoning the Citys Secretariat office on 9265-9190 from 9am on Monday 30 June. It is likely a maximum of 20 supporters and 20 objectors will be heard on the night and limited to two minutes each.

Transport: The City of Sydney has organised community buses for residents who need assistance to get to the meeting and home again. The buses will depart between 5pm and 5.15 pm at the corner of Queen St/Rothschild Ave, Rosebery and Dalmeny Ave/Hayes Rd, Rosebery.

Media: Media are asked to register their interest in attending by phoning Josh Mackenzie on 9265-9082

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Hillsong development proposal to be determined by CSPC
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