POSSIBLE REMOVAL: The Sacred Heart Catholic Parish at Cambooya will apply to the council to have its old church building on Eton St removed so it can be restored by a new buyer.
POSSIBLE REMOVAL: The Sacred Heart Catholic Parish at Cambooya will apply to the council to have its old church building on Eton St removed so it can be restored by a new buyer. Google Maps

Why small parish wants heritage-listed church removed

A SMALL Catholic parish outside Toowoomba that wants to sell off its heritage-listed 104-year-old church building has been forced to apply to the council to have it removed.

The Sacred Heart Parish Committee in Cambooya this week submitted a proposal for the "demolition of a local heritage place", which would actually involve its removal from its site on Eton St.

Parish president Allan Stenzel said the committee sold the small and unused hall to David Wright House Removers more than a year ago.

However, when the new owner went to the council to apply for its removal, he was told it had been listed on the TRC's local heritage register for years.

"We never knew about it - it wasn't until David Wright applied to remove it that we found out," Mr Stenzel said.

"It's going down to his yard at Burpengary as a display, because he's had some of them in the past and they've been sold.

"He's still going to go ahead with the deal once we get permission."

Walk of history for church: Life-long parishioner Lloyd Cronin talks about next year's 110th anniversary celebrations for St Stephens Catholic Church Pittsworth.
Walk of history for church: Life-long parishioner Lloyd Cronin talks about next year's 110th anniversary celebrations for St Stephens Catholic Church Pittsworth.

The committee sought advice from Toowoomba architect Stephanie Keays, who said removing the building from the council's heritage register could take, "six months but would more likely be 12-18 months".

Instead, the TRC officers will now look at the removal of the building as an impact assessable application.

"It is unlikely the proposal to remove the building would be supported at officer level. However, councillors are able to make a decision that does not follow such recommendations," Ms Keays told Sacred Heart in a letter.

Mr Stenzel said the upkeep costs of the building were unsustainable for a modest church, especially since the "new" building was constructed in 1964.

"I think it was about $4000 a year. We haven't used it for ages - it's just sitting there," he said.

"It's no use to us, so we're all hoping it will be restored (by David Wright)."