The changes would allow a place of worship to be built only on land zoned Light Industry, Service Commercial and General Agriculture Zoning ” not Rural Landscape Living.
Councillors had voted unanimously to reject the trust’s meeting hall proposal in May, on grounds the development was not in keeping with the rural landscape and would have a detrimental visual impact on the scenic values of the locality.
The trust ” also known as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church ” appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal and wrote to Housing Minister Bill Marmion, who had to review the scheme because Planning Minister John Day had a conflict of interests.
Mr Marmion said he believed the scheme ‘could be more flexible’ for places of worship and requested the shire modify its local planning scheme and re-|advertise the amendments for public comment.
After receiving 324 submissions during the public comment period from July to August ” split equally between those in favour and those opposed to the Draft Local Planning Scheme changes ” shire councillors unanimously voted in favour of changes to restrict place of worship construction from Rural Landscape Living zones at a meeting this week.
Stoneville and Par-kerville Progress Association chairman Greg Jones said although the modification to the Draft Local Planning Scheme No.4 related to a place of worship, the issue had never been about religion. ‘It is not about who or why a place of worship should be developed, but it is about where and how that development affects its surrounds,’ Mr Jones said.
He said the recommendations accepted by the council would provide clarity, certainty and more options to religious groups wanting to locate a place of worship in the Shire of Mundaring.
‘The modification also provides future certainty to residents in Rural Landscape Living Zones and will help to preserve the amenity of the Hills lifestyle we all value so much.’
The next step is for the WA Planning Commission to review the shire’s resolution and schedule of submissions and make a final report before a decision is made by Mr Marmion.
The Mundaring Gospel Trust could not be reached for comment.