Brethren fight proves costly for opposers
Banyule & Nillumbik Weekly
31 Jan, 2012
GREENSBOROUGH residents may be forced to raise up to $30,000 to stop their local milk bar from becoming an Exclusive Brethren church.
The Exclusive Brethren last month appealed their planning application to VCAT after Nillumbik councillors narrowly rejected their proposal to turn the Sunrise Drive convenience store site into a church and carpark. More than 150 objections were made to the original planning application.
Sunrise Nillumbik community group spokesman Carlo Mosca said residents would meet next month to discuss how they planned to fight the Brethren at VCAT. Residents would need to raise between $10,000 and $30,000 to employ an independent town planner and legal representative, he said.
"This really is a David and Goliath battle. [The Brethren] have deep pockets, whereas we are just a group of residents." He said the residents would not abandon their fight, even if they could not raise the funds. "If necessary, we can still represent ourselves."
Nillumbik council also plans to contest the Brethren's appeal.
Brethren member Richard Kelsey said it would be weeks before a date was set for the hearing and the Brethren could not estimate costs as no budget had been set for the appeal.
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