D-day close for Bribie church plan

Published 6:00am 10 May 2023

D-day close for Bribie church plan
Words by Nick Crockford

Bribie Island may soon find out if development plans for a new church get the green light - despite dozens of objections from residents.

The Baptist Union of Queensland has applied to build a church at 99 First Ave, Woorim, opposite Bribie Island Memorial Gardens.

If approved by Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) - a decision is expected this month - Bribie Island Baptist Church, currently in Bongaree, will have a new two-storey place of worship.

However, around 30 objections are with the development application on MBRC's website, mostly with environmental, wildlife and traffic concerns. At the time of writing, one supported the new church.

Plans show the church would cover around a quarter of the 4000sqm block, with an auditorium, tech studio, conference room, kitchen and office.

There would be 58 parking spaces, fewer than the minimum 71 bays required under MBRC’s Planning Scheme (seven spaces per 100sqm of gross floor area).

However, the development application says the maximum number of people on site at one time is 100 and the highest number of cars 40, with the average around 30.

Auditorium seating is more than 300 on the plans, but a response to MBRC said that was “nowhere near actual numbers the proposed use intends for and sees on a daily basis”.

Many residents’ submissions argue the development would affect the environment, threaten wildlife and increase traffic on First Ave at busy times.

Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association’s (BEIPA) says in a detailed report, the application conflicts with MBRC’s Corporate Plan on how the region will “look and feel 20 years from now”.

“MBRC has invested a tremendous amount of effort into creating thorough and comprehensive strategies based on community consultation that set a very high standard of environmental protection,” says BEIPA in the report.

“Moreton Bay communities have an expectation that councillors will make decisions that are aligned with the published Corporate Plan and associated Planning Scheme.”

Residents' objections, shown online, include Alex Telegin, of Banksia Beach, who said: “This is a significant area serving as a wildlife corridor and should be protected as such.

“It will inevitably cause sound, light and litter pollution in the surrounding national park, disturbing wildlife to a point where they avoid the area.”

Bronwyn McEntee, from Bongaree, wrote the proposed use goes against the purpose of rural zones as stated in MBRC Planning Scheme.

“As the site is of high environmental value and cannot be connected to council water and sewerage infrastructure, it should not be developed as a place of worship,” she said.

Robyn and Robert O’Sullivan, of Bongaree, said: “First Ave is the only remaining intact, relatively unencumbered, wildlife corridor connecting Bribie Island National Park with the southern bushland areas.”

Elizabeth O’Byrne, from Woorim, opposed development as “it is in a wildlife corridor”.

“The development allows for parking for 58 cars,” she wrote, “this means a lot of cars will be trying to enter First Ave at peak times on weekends and holidays when this road can already be congested because of traffic down to the surf beach and 4WDs driving to the entry of the beach driving zone.”

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