Council refuses church plan over parking concern

Stock image.
Stock image.

STIRLING councillors have knocked back a proposal to change a gym into a church in Osborne Park.

Council refused applicant Planning Solution’s change-of-use application for a place of worship at unit 6, 7 Hector Street West, at its December 3 council meeting because the development had a parking shortfall of 52 car bays from the required 94.

The proposal was for the building to fit 360 people and five staff from Providence Church and operate with a mix of worship, classes and events until midnight every day except for Saturday.

An officer’s report said the scale of the development and lack of frequent bus routes meant most church patrons would have to drive to the site.

“The applicant has stated that a maximum of 551 trips, or 275 vehicles, will travel to the site on a Sunday,” the report said.

“This will result in over 233 vehicles not being able to park on site as only 42 bays are provided and will result in a major parking problem in the locality if the development were to be approved.

“The lack of parking provided on site will result in a major parking problem and will have a detrimental impact on 7 Hector Street West and the use and access of other properties in the surrounding area.”

Providence Church had been looking to develop a property that can serve as a permanent gathering place and ministry resource centre.

In July, council approved Victory Life Centre’s expansion of its Osborne Park church operations despite a 230-bay parking shortfall.

And in November, a five-storey church originally knocked back by Stirling Council because of parking concerns, was approved in a revised form by the Metro North-West Development Assessment Panel.

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