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Donvale Ratepayers Association > Coptic Church Development  

Coptic Church Development



December 2011 – DRPA met with the Planning Minister Matthew Guy to discuss our concerns with the project.  Minister Guy would make no commitment either way but DRPA were at least given a fair chance to present our case.  During the discussion with the minister DRPA were able to present photos of a pair of endangered Powerful Owls which roost on a property near the Coptic Church site.  DRPA were also able to hand over a petition signed by 426 people opposing the development.  At this time we are still waiting to on a decision by the Planning Minister

October 2011 - The Coptic Church have again ignored the concerns of its neighbours and are seeking the application of an Incorporated Plan Overlay (IPO) for their Park Road, Donvale site.    The Coptic Church have applied directly to the State Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, instead of applying through the local planning authority, Manningham City Council.

We believe this approach is being pursued to avoid a formal community consultation process that should be undertaken with residents and the Manningham Council

Click on the following links to view the documents that have been sent to Minister Guy and supplied to Council :

November 2011 - DRPA has sent a letter, and a comprehensive analysis of the proposal, to the Planning minister requesting any development of the site be referred back to the local planning authority, Manningham City Council, wherby proper community consultation can occur. 



VCAT Reference No: P3135/2010

On March 16, 2011 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal delivered their decision in relation to the Coptic Church permit application for the amended plans of a Multi-puropose Sport and Function Venue at 88-154 Park Road in Donvale.  The tribunal's decision was:


Click here to view a full copy of VCAT's decision

The Coptic Church VCAT hearing was held over 3 days from Monday 31st January to Wednesday 2nd February, 2011.  During the proceedings the Coptic Church submitted their proposed draft permit conditions which included operating hours for the multi-purpose sports venue to be 6am to 11 pm, 7 days a week and  the function centre operating hours to be 6am to midnight, 7 days a week.

Manningham Council and DRPA were required to lodge their "right of reply" and responses to the draft permit conditions by 16th February 2011 and the Coptic Church had until 21st February 2011 to respond to these submissions.

THANK YOU to all 114 residents who sent an objection to VCAT.


The Coptic Church continued to ignore the concerns of its neighbours.  After the Manningham City Council refused to grant a planning permit for the multi-purpose function centre at it's August 31 2010 Council meeting the Coptic Church applied to VCAT for an Application for Review.  The Coptic Church then submitted amended plans to Manningham Council.  To view the amended plans please click here

The amended plans were subsequently approved at the December 14 2010 Manningham Council meeting with only one of the original reasons for refusal being addressed fully.  So now our Council are supporting this application for an inappropriate commercial development in a low density residential zone.


The proposed function centre would be one of the biggest buildings in Manningham and by far the largest in a Low Density Residential Zone.  This appeal has been fast-tracked during the Christmas/ New Year period.


Our new neighbours, the Coptic Orthodox Church, are planning major commercial developments for the rural Whitefriars property, within the precious green wedge, on the corner of Park and Heads Roads to build a total of 12 new buildings on the site. 
The first building is a 22m high (72 feet, over 7 stories) Multipurpose Function and Sporting Venue and has a footprint over 1 acre in size.

The Multipurpose Function Centre is a significant over development, including:
       • 3 Basketball Stadiums with 562 Spectator Seats;
       • 4 Squash Courts with 200 Spectator Seats;  
       • A Gymnasium;
       • 50 Seat Cafe;
       • Indoor Pool;
       • Youth Centre; and
       • a 2,000+ seat Function Centre.

Major concerns are:
• Construction will permanently damage native habitat and block a major wildlife corridor;
       • Significant increase in traffic for Park, Heads and other surrounding roads;
       • Loading dock will introduce many trucks on a dangerous corner in Heads Rd;
       • Parking along Park, Heads and other side roads due to lack of spaces;
       • Noise pollution from its use 7 days a week between 5am and midnight; and
       • Light emitted from flood lighting of the building and grounds.

From numerous meetings attended by concerned residents it has become obvious that our councillors who represent the Mullum Mullum Ward do not know the full extent of this development nor the Master Plan (entitled "The Dome") the Coptic Church has in store for the site.

Currently Manningham City Council are considering a Planning Application (PL09/020214) from the Coptic Orthodox Church to construct a Multipurpose Function Centre, Stage 1 of the ongoing development of the site. 
This development will surely go ahead unless there is a mass objection from Donvale and Park Orchards residents.

Please contact us to sign our petition to show your support (email
  Objection forms can be downloaded below.  You can also contact your local Councillors to discuss your concerns, click here for more details.

Make council aware of your objection to Stage 1 of this development.


Folder: ArchiveArchive
Extracts from the Planning Report.pdfExtracts from the Planning Report1489 KB
Public Meeting 27th January - DRPA Opening Statement.pdfPublic Meeting 27th January - DRPA Opening Statement112 KB
Site Plan.pdfSite Plan123 KB
Traffic Engineering Assessment.pdfTraffic Engineering Assessment532 KB
VCAT PNPE1 Schedule 3 Form B.docVCAT PNPE1 Schedule 3 Form B34 KB
VCAT PNPE1 Schedule 3 Form B.pdfVCAT PNPE1 Schedule 3 Form B513 KB

 Media Links

  2010-01-03 - Manningham Leader - The Dome draws crowd at briefing - ADD YOUR COMMENTS
  2009-12-23 - Manningham Leader - Church Plans Rile Residents
  2009-10-14 - Manningham Leader - Sports and function complex planned for Donvale site
  2009-02-11 - Manningham Leader - Plans for new Donvale community hub
Stop The Dome Development

Artists impressions of the proposed development. 
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