PHOTOS | South Cronulla Uniting Church development recommended for approval

Plans to convert a heritage-listed church at Cronulla into homes with an adjoining townhouse development have been recommended for approval.

Heritage and architectural advisers to Sutherland Shire Council supported the proposal.

The 92-year-old South Cronulla Uniting Church closed in 2016 despite the protests of parishioners, and the site sold.

A development application (DA), which included a number of variations to LEP rules, was recommended for approval following assessment by the council.

The decision will be made by the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP).

The plans provide for two dwellings in the church and attached hall.

Another dwelling is proposed in the existing rear hall located behind the church.

Alongside the church, but separated by landscaped open space, will be four more dwellings in a two-storey block with basement parking.

The manse will be demolished.

The council’s assessment said the church was “a good example of interwar church architecture in Australia and representative of the peninsula’s social and cultural development during the mid-20s as Cronulla was developing”.

“The church ceased its use as a religious building in 2016.

“As the church is located within a well-established residential area and residential zone, the adaptive reuse of the building from a place of worship to a sympathetic residential development will conserve the building.”

The report said the council’s senior heritage architect and the Sutherland Shire Heritage and Shire History Committee reviewed the Heritage Impact Assessment and the Conservation Management Plan and were “supportive of the adaptive reuse of the church”.

“They are also supportive of the new building which is complementary to the church building and the generous central landscape area between the new building and the church provides adequate separation and transition between the two buildings,” the report said.

The council’s Design Review Forum said the proposal, subject to modifications, was “a welcome exemplar of heritage adaptation and refined contemporary residential architecture for this type of development”

Four submissions were received from local residents objecting to the DA.