Planning decisions taken away

Penshust Mosque's Imam Ensar Cutahija has invited the community to attend an Open Day at the mosque on on Sunday, July 1.
Penshust Mosque's Imam Ensar Cutahija has invited the community to attend an Open Day at the mosque on on Sunday, July 1.

Re the article “Penshurst mosque growth” (Leader, May 9).

As a ratepayer and resident who was part of the discussion and submission process for more than four years I offer an analogy of the situation:

An existing shop cannot provide enough parking for its existing customers, applies for additions to the first and second floors and a tower to advertise it.

The business owner/occupier claims it will not attract more patronage but could not refuse more people from entering the premises beyond limits it claimed months prior to the DA approval.

How could a Local Planning Panel (LPP) approve it via its reasoning of “in the public interest”? 

Georges River Council refused consent of the Penshurst mosque expansion based on documented evidence.

An independent peer reviewer of previous traffic studies of the site found existing parking and traffic “intolerable”, non-compliant and recommended refusal.

The applicant stated the minaret’s function is to strengthen the identification of the site. This is despite all local worshippers knowing where it is. The Local Planning Panel (LPP) disregarded up to date evidence and granted approval.

It appears facts and logic is irrelevant when making planning decisions.

This is the new face of “accountability” imposed upon us from the state government taking away planning decisions from local councils, i.e. ratepayers and residents. 

M. Tesoriero, Beverly Hills