Religious group’s plans for former cricket stadium at Casino
A religious group has lodged a development application that would more than double the number of worshippers allowed at its Casino church.
The Casino Christadelphians Ecclesia bought the former indoor cricket stadium on Bruton St last year.
The building has also been used as a roller skating rink and a driver training facility.
In 2020, with a sale to the Christadelphians imminent, the former owners lodged a DA to formally change the use of the building from a sporting facility to a place of worship.
That DA was approved last year.
Now a modification has been lodged with Richmond Valley Council, and it is on public exhibition until February 6.
If approved, it would allow the Christadelphians to have up to 300 people at the facility at any one time.
The current approval is for 125 people.
A report to the council states that limiting attendance numbers was an "unreasonable expectation for the use of a place of public worship".
"Embedded in the ethos of this, and in fact any, church is the desire to be an 'open house'," the report states.
"The focus is to reach out to the local community with an open, welcoming approach.
"If all of the current membership turn up at one time and there are any visitors, the restrictive number of attendees set by the council will be exceeded."
With plans to hold Sunday services and other activities such as Bible study classes, committee meetings and youth groups, the church is also seeking approval to use the facility more often than outlined in the conditions of consent.
The Christadelphians said they have been meeting regularly at Casino Public School for about seven years "without one complaint from the neighbours".
They are asking the council for approval to use the premises from 8am until 10pm, seven days a week.
Members believe the Bible is "God's only revealed message to mankind", and they are encouraged to read "three or four chapters a day", following a daily reading guide.
For more information about the DA, or to make a submission, visit the council's website.