A YOUTH church will be opening in Morley after Bayswater council revoked its previous refusal to grant planning approval.
At the February 20 council meeting, council voted to rescind a committee resolution made on January 28 and approve the change of use to public worship and associated alterations, 6-2, with Councillors Catherine Ehrhardt and Brent Fleeton voting against.
The church will be located at Lot 19, Unit 1A, 1-5 Wellington Road, Morley, which also has a gym, hairdresser and a restaurant.
Conditions include a plan for all signs to be submitted and approved by the City of Bayswater, providing a screened refuse bulk bin area and a maximum of 20 people including volunteers and staff on site.
Operating hours will be from 6pm to 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 6pm to 9pm on Wednesday and 9am to noon on Sunday.
According to an officer’s report, there were two objections which addressed concerns about parking, retrospective use and operating hours.
One of the objectors advised the City on February 7 that the parking issue would be addressed if assurances were given that people attending the church on Sunday mornings would not park anywhere other than the subject property.
Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish said he did not often bring back a rescission motion but thought the application needed to be discussed with a more full council.
“This particular item, we were actually three councillors down because of the January break and also it was a tied 4-4 vote that had to come down to the vote of the chair to form a position,” he said.
“I know that a lot of people grappled with where they should sit on this vote – it was a tough one.
“The simple factor though is that it is a very small building, there are not many church people who go there, and as we heard in the deputation, it is targeted towards youth who aren’t actually permanent residents in the country but might be doing some study or travel.”
Cr Cornish said young church attendees often would catch the bus and there was a “sea of carpark” at the Morley Sport and Recreation Centre so there was no need for more parking at the site.
Cr Sally Palmer said she lived near the site and it was nice to see the neighbour rescind this disapproval.