Council for the Rural Municipality of Hanover has given its approval for a church congregation in Steinbach to relocate southeast of Mitchell.

The Steinbach Church of God in Christ had already received conditional approval to subdivide their land along Road 35N or McKenzie Avenue, which enlarges the property that currently contains a private school. Last week, Hanover Council approved a conditional use application, allowing the congregation to construct a new church building and relocate to that site. Currently, their church building is located along Loewen Boulevard in Steinbach.

At last week's public hearing, Hanover Planning Manager Jeremy Neufeld noted there were no administrative concerns with the application. He says potential areas of issue, such as drainage plans are being dealt with through the subdivision and permitting processes.

The RM of Hanover received written correspondence from two neighbours. Reinhold Froese, who Pastors the Peace River Gospel Church next door, said that as a Church, they give their blessing to this proposal.

But, Dale Christiuk, who lives along Homestead Crescent formally objected to the application, raising concerns such as increased traffic, parking, dust, road maintenance and noise. Christiuk suggests that the road is not built to withstand the additional vehicles it will soon see.

"This will really not add that much more to the traffic load on a well-travelled road," says Hanover Deputy Reeve Bob Brandt. "Does the road have to be upgraded? At some point in time, it will have to be, but that's a discussion for another day."

Brandt calls it a very good plan that was presented to Council.

"They are people of faith that want to do the right thing and we certainly encourage them to build a church," says Brandt. "A very good plan, very well laid out. Their intent is honourable."

Council was unanimous in its approval.