The Sukyo Mahakari group announced that they had been successful in securing a community lease on a block of land at the corner of Dixon Drive and Mulley, Street Holder. It was their intention to build a sizable building on a block equivalent to 6 house blocks. The building is their Australian/Oceanic National Headquarters.
Substantial concerns were raised in the community regarding this announcement and the WCCC at its regular monthly meeting in April 1997 brought together the organization and concerned residents. The WCCC focussed on the planning and lease issues, such as parking arrangements, traffic congestion, lease purpose, locations of the building on the site and the size and style of the building.
It must however be commented upon that residents were very concerned regarding the bonafidas of the organization and their intentions.
Sukyo Mahikari were invited back to the November 1997 meeting to discuss their detailed plans. Those from Sukyo Mahikari were Dr Andris Tebecis; Peter Churcher (Architect) and Paul Taylor and David Thomson (Building Committee. Peter Churcher gave a detailed explanation of the building design and layout (Block 8 section 45 Holder). The building would have seating capacity for 350 people with the potential to expand to seating for 600. The signage would be minimal and probably located only on the building and not in the street. The major area is a large ground floor and the lower ground floor has the capacity for offices for 14 people. In respect to questions on the use of the building Dr Tebecis described the organization as an education / religious organization with in-house training of theology. The activities to be undertaken are morning and evening prayer and a Sunday school. There is a much larger monthly meeting. The times of activity are 9.00am to 9.00pm.
The building material was described as fibro cement and colourbond roof. The height of the building was indicated to be 9 metres from ground floor level and 11.5 meters from the lower ground floor. Plans for the development approval are passed and the building has been completed.
The only recent queries from residents to the WCCC have been in respect of the outside floodlighting on the building and in particular the impact from Cotter Road travelling west into Weston Creek and the possible effects on the Mt. Stromlo observatory.