Churches battle over new ECEC build – Catholic Church says yes, Presbyterian says no

by Freya Lucas

March 17

Two churches in the Sydney suburb of Caringbah are engaged in what local news source The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader has termed “an unholy row” over a proposal for a new early childhood education and care (ECEC) centre on the grounds of a Catholic Church and school in the suburb. 

 

The proposal has drawn objections from an adjoining Presbyterian Church and nearby residents, with concerns raised about traffic congestion, which is at high levels during school drop off and pick up periods currently.

 

A development application was lodged with Sutherland Shire Council for a 76 place centre on the site of Our Lady of Fatima Church grounds – already home to a primary school, and De La Salle College.  

 

Although the Church included a number of suggestions on how to mitigate the traffic issues likely to arise, including restricting access from Port Hacking Road to “left in” and “left out” only. 

 

Caringbah Presbyterian Church raised objections, calling the work done to lessen the issues “overly optimistic” in its findings that the adverse traffic impact can be adequately managed by the proposed arrangements.

 

The Presbyterian Church was also concerned about parking availability, saying “any available car park spaces at our church are now regularly taken by parents either dropping their children at the schools or picking them up in the afternoon. While we have sought to be reasonable on this issue, we see this impact only increasing on our church with the childcare centre (proposal).”

 

To read the original coverage of this story, please see here

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