Development applications for two separate churches in Kelmscott have sparked public uproar by nearby residents who are concerned about the potential environmental and visual impacts and noise and traffic issues should the applications be approved.
A large group of residents met with The Examiner this week to voice their concerns about the two developments, one that is proposed by the Plymouth Brethren Community on Armstrong Road and the other by the Karen Baptist Community Church on Brookton Highway.
Concerned resident Heather Hamilton who helped rally the group together said she lived in a part of Kelmscott that she was proud to show her friends and family and these developments would ruin that.
“It will be just another example of poor planning, weak governing and a complete disregard for the wishes of the locals who love this area,” she said.
“It breaks my heart to think that we could have this monstrosity foisted on us.”
Ms Hamilton also cited issues surrounding the increased traffic these developments would bring to a declared disaster zone after the 2011 Kelmscott Roleystone fires.
“Brookton Highway is not equipped to deal with the number of vehicles that would be trying to evacuate should this happen again and to add several hundred more cars to just one semi-rural residential property is absolute madness,” she said.
If these two applications were to be approved, long-term resident Philip Uchtman’s property on Buckingham Road would be sandwiched between the two churches, only separated by the Canning River.
“I have got nothing against their religion or anybody else’s and I couldn’t care less what they believe in and what they follow, it is just where they are going to do it and the amount of people that will be there every single day,” he said.
“Our family has lived at this property since 1963 and if this is approved it will change the whole aspect of the valley forever, it will be irreversible.”
At a City of Armadale development services meeting on Tuesday night executive director Paul Sanders said both applications had ‘come out of the blue’.
“The two applications are running concurrently and the area we consulted was wider than normal with submissions sought from two wards,” he said.
“The development will come back to council for decision and the Brookton Highway application will be decided by the Joint Development Assessment Panel and our report is due pretty close to Christmas,” he said.