August walk: Field of Mars

Field of Mars

Brigid Dowsett will be our guide around this Wildlife Refuge and Bushland Reserve with its diverse range of vegetation – from coastal saltmarsh and mangroves to eucalypts, open forest and wildflowers (please note that dogs are not allowed in the Reserve).  The walk will last for up to 2 hours and stout shoes and a good level of fitness are required as walking tracks are steep and rough in places.

Meet at The Field of Mars Visitor Centre.  Parking is available just off the roundabout on Pittwater Road opposite Buffalo Creek Reserve.  After the walk, we’ll convene at Unwritten Cafe at Boronia Park shops for some well-earned refreshments!  Please let us know ASAP if you would like to come as places are limited.
When:  9:30 am Sunday 27th August

Where:  meet at the Visitor Centre, Field of Mars.

Bookings and 

HHT’s Guided walks are FREE for members and $10 for others.

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For our lungs’ sake: send a message

Image: Friends of the Urban Forest

A powerful network of community, planning and health organisations, including the Heart Foundation, National Trust, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects is calling on the Premier of NSW to protect and enhance the lungs of Sydney.  The Hunters Hill Trust has also signed this open letter that has been organised by the Total Environment Centre.

The letter urges better protection of green spaces and trees from development and raises serious concerns about the proposed Biodiversity Offsets Scheme, which will lead to the widespread clearing of remnant bushland in the Greater Sydney area, in return for developers’ cash payments.

  We encourage you to sign the letter too (here)

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Powerhouse heritage dismantled

We are outraged at NSW government’s plan to dismantle the Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Ultimo Sydney. The Museum and its collections are not ‘owned’ by the government to treat as currency, they are our heritage, collectively owned by the people of NSW and held in Trust – a gift from previous generations to future generations.

The Federal Government recently sold our magnificent GPO, the prize of Martin Place, for $150 million. The NSW Government now plans to spend $140 million on a car-park in Parramatta to house the relocated Powerhouse.  Is that a good deal for the people of NSW?

What else is for sale?

You can read the Trust’s letter to the NSW Premier here.

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Hot off the press: HHT Journal, Volume 55

The July 2017 edition of the Hunters Hill Trust Journal is now available to download here. It includes:

Boronia Park and Gladesville Shopping Village;   Amalgamation update

HHT meeting with Minister for Planning, Housing & Special Minister of State

High rise housing;   Death by design;     Boronia Park update

2017 AGM;    Walks and Events;  ‘Heritage of Hunters Hill’ new edition in the pipeline

Heritage under threat;   House story:  Redruth.

HHT members will receive their own paper version of the Journal very soon.

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Creeping ugliness: fixing our broken planning system

Image: Jessica Shapiro, SMH 2016

Members of the Hunters Hill Trust’s executive committee recently met with the Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Special Minister of State along with the Secretary of NSW Department of Planning to discuss our deep concerns about the failures of the planning system and its impact on heritage and the environment. The presentation addressed:

  • Greater Sydney Commission
  • Gladesville Shopping Village development
  • Revisions to the NSW Housing Code
  • Protections for conservation areas
  • Design led planning that strengthens community life.

See the full presentation of concerns and solutions here:  HHT presentation to Minister for Planning.

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Effects of living near a busy road…

Image:  The Telegraph UK 2017

Have you ever wondered about the longterm health effects on noise, vibration, airborne pollution?

Evidence about the risks is accumulating. A decade-long study of 6.6 million people, published in the The Lancet, found that one in 10 dementia deaths in people living within 50 metres of a busy road was attributable to fumes and noise. There was a linear decline in deaths the further people lived away from heavy traffic.

The Age reports on a major US study that links asthma and  cardiovascular disease to living up to 500m of a busy road.
Our very own Dept of Planning set out guidelines for managing risks back in 2008:  Development Near Busy Roads, NSW Dept Planning.
So how come we are building stacks of accommodation along the major highways of Sydney right now?
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Heritage protection as the juggernaut thunders on

On Thursday 20 July, Trust Committee Members met with Anthony Roberts, Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing, and Special Minister for State, Leader of the House to discuss heritage and planning in NSW. The Department of Planning and Environment Secretary, Carolyn McNally was also present.

A number of matters were canvassed including the Trust’s submission to the Greater Sydney Commission and submissions on the Gladesville Shopping Village and revisions to the Housing Code. The Trust raised the need for stronger heritage protections with the loss of heritage across Sydney, providing examples of local items lost and under threat and, further afield, the significant Thompson Square at Windsor that is under threat of destruction by the RMS for a major road and new bridge.
Read More »

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WW1 returned service cottage threatened with demolition

18 Richmond Crescent

The proposed demolition of number 18 Richmond Crescent would destroy the last remaining WW1 returned soldier settlement cottage in original condition in our area.  This would erode the overall value of the conservation precinct.

Hunter’s Hill Council initially refused the DA to demolish the cottage, undertake a major excavation and construct a very large 3 storey building that is completely out of character in this Conversation Area and does not comply with the LEP.

The amended plans that are now being considered do not appear to adequately address the issues raised by concerned neighbours or the Council: Read More »

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Hunters Hill Hotel – extended hours ‘not in the public interest’

Community action and good sense have prevailed.

The Land and Environment Court has refused Iris Hotel Group’s Development Application which sought to extend alcohol trading hours at the Hunters Hill Hotel, saying it ‘would not respect, enhance or protect the amenity of residential areas in the vicinity’ and that ‘the site is not suitable for extended hours under any circumstances and is not in the public interest’.  You can read the judgement and further details here:

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Massive garages in sensitive area

garage dominates Mayfield Ave Woolwich

There is a worrying trend of owners putting in a Development Application for one alteration and then increasing the built structure by consecutive amendments, at the expense of environmental and heritage considerations.

The previous approval at 1 Hunter Street Woolwich was for the parking entrance to be at the side of the property, on vacant land,  Two major mature trees have already been removed to accommodate this entry. The owners are now proposing an amendment that substantially increases the area of excavation in Mayfield Avenue, at the rear of their property.  It would involve the removal of a significant part of the natural rock formation, further diminish the streetscape and increase the intrusive nature of the alterations.

The rock outcrop at 2 Mayfield Avenue was meant to be maintained but has now been destroyed by a wall of concrete, as has the rocky outcrop at the heritage listed Verdelais at 9 Hunter Street, Woolwich which has seen approximately 3 years of work on a multi-car garage and concrete extensions.

We urge Council to halt the spread of uncontrolled and damaging construction in this sensitive area.

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