A new Plymouth Brethren church proposed for a residential area in Figtree would have early morning services but no singing, its backers have told Wollongong City Council.
Plans are on exhibition for the place of worship at 95 O’Brien’s Rd, Figtree, proposed by the Cordeaux Gospel Trust, a group previously described by council as an “exclusive minority sect”.
The application seeks permission to build closer to the front and sides of the property than planning rules allow.
Other than the name, no details about the group’s religious affiliation are included in the development application.
But the proposal’s advocate Philip Gage confirmed it is the Plymouth Brethren church group.
The proposed times of worship are on Sundays from 6am and 3pm, with further bible study meetings on Monday to Friday evenings.
An existing house would be demolished on the long block of land, while several trees, including palm trees, would need to be removed to build the new facility.
The plans would encroach on the required setbacks at the front and to the side, but the group’s acoustic consultant told council that noise would not be an issue.
“There will be no music or singing and meetings will occur at specific times,” its report said.
The Cordeaux Gospel Trust is a registered tax exempt charity, which has stated that its purpose is the advancement of religion, as well as the provision of church halls and religious services.
It has not been required to submit a financial report to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission since 2013.
The Cordeaux Gospel Trust has been trying for a new base for some years. In 2013 its plans for a new facility in Mt Pleasant were rejected by council planners and the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel.
After objections from residents, planners and the IHAP agreed the proposal was inappropriate and not in the public interest, as it did not satisfy development rules over tree preservation, traffic management, the character of the neighbourhood, intensity of use, bushfire management, noise, and other issues.
An earlier version of this story identified the “Exclusive” or “Plymouth” Brethren group prior to confirmation from Mr Gage.