You can go to the link & post a comment. The more the merrier!Parking row could derail church bid
November 13, 2006 9:54 PM
By Charmaine Camilleri
A GROUP of Ascot Vale residents has vowed to take its fight to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if the Church of Scientology fails to provide adequate parking at its new Melbourne headquarters.
The church decided to review the planning permit application for 38 more parking spaces at the 0.8-hectare Mt Alexander Road site opposite the Ascot Vale tram depot after neighbours expressed concern over traffic disruptions.
There are only five spaces on the site now.
The issue was discussed at a meeting between a Moonee Valley Council planning officer, Cr Jim Cusack, church representatives and a group of about 10 residents on October 30.
Residents' spokesman Paul Norman said that even with 43 on-site parking spaces, residents were worried cars would end up on the surrounding Ailsa, Ayr and South streets.
''Our view is if parking is not acceptable, we'll take it [the case] to the VCAT. We have no option.''
In its planning permit application the church says it expects 65 staff and 50 parishioners during the day. An auditorium will be used for up to six evening events for about 250 people on Fridays and Saturdays during the year. A smaller auditorium will hold events for about 100 people six times a year.
Church of Scientology director of public affairs Mary Anderson would not elaborate on possible amendments but said ''the parking issue is being looked at''.
''The church is not wanting the residents to have a problem with us ... measures are being looked at that will satisfy everyone.''
The church bought the the site, formerly owned by the Australian Catholic University, for a rumoured $7million in January.
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