Plans to build a giant cross on a hill overlooking Kembla Grange look set to be rejected due to a long list of problems.
In June the Macedonian Monastery Sveta Petka on Wyllie Road lodged a development application to build a 32.5-metre high cross on the hill in their backyard - claiming it to be the tallest cross in the country.
The application will go before the Wollongong Local Planning Panel for a decision but a city council staff recommendation to the panel is that it be rejected.
That report offers more than a page of reasons to knock back the giant cross - the first of which is that it represents a land use that is not permitted under the church's zoning.
Also, at 32.5 metres, the cross exceeds the height restriction in that zone by 23.5 metres.
The church requested to be granted an exemption over the height limits but the council report said it failed to provide suitable justification, adding "the proposed development is not considered to be in consistent with the objectives of the development standard and zone".
"The cross has adverse visual impacts on an important natural area of significance and is not considered appropriate in the context of the existing and future anticipated character of the area," the report stated.
While it had been proposed to light up the cross at night, the council report noted there was no information describing that lighting.
The proposal also did not comply with the Wollongong Development Control Plan in terms of Aboriginal heritage, development in the escarpment, waste management, visual impact and limitations around places of public worship.
"The likely impacts of the proposal on the context and setting and the impacts of the siting and design of the proposal on the amenity of the area, heritage items and heritage conservation area are adverse," the council report stated.
It was also judged to have "an unacceptable social impact", "not considered to fit with the locality" and "would set an undesirable precedent".
The report also noted a visual impact assessment lodged as part of the application "fails to demonstrate any visual and obtrusive impacts of the development on M1 traffic and suburbs of Farmborough, Berkeley, Stream Hill, Brownsville and Horsley".
The planning panel will meet to discuss the giant cross next week.
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