Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

VOTER BEWARE!

We recently highlighted the importance of knowing where Group preferences (ie their 2nd and 3rd choices) will be going in this Council election so here’s the link to the Electoral Commission website so you can check this out:

https://htvdisplay.elections.nsw.gov.au/app/lge/council/Hunters%20Hill

 

You will note that, while Groups are obviously free to direct preferences wherever they like, it is now apparent that the new “Independent” Groups with no history on Council, are preferencing a political party.   Residents voting to keep Hunters Hill independent need to be aware of this.

2021-11-26T13:10:21+11:00November 25, 2021|

Local Elections – What’s at Stake?

The Council election on 4 December is one of the most important since the Trust was formed over 50 years ago.  With the increasing pressures of losses and impacts on our built and natural heritage, our community needs Councillors who have integrity and transparency and are independent of party politics,  to ensure sustainable development outcomes that support everyone’s needs fairly. Early next year Council will be reviewing the Local Environment and Development Control Plans which could mean an increase in both the height and density of our suburbs. This is a critical time for our municipality.
 

A particular example of this is the Property Strategy containing Council’s blueprint for our municipality for the next 10 years.  Community feedback was strongly against the proposals for which no business case, needs analysis or financial risk assessment had been presented and our thanks go to Mayor Ross Williams and Councillors Sanderson, Krassoi and McLaughlin, who voted to further investigate options and financial modelling before adoption.
 

The Hunters Hill Trust was established to help protect our Municipality from inappropriate development.   We are proud of our role in advocating for our beautiful heritage and garden suburb to be preserved.    This has been even more important over the last term of Council (see Submissions) when we have pushed for sustainable and appropriate development outcomes, rather than just  ‘development’.    We have advocated for better facilities for our young families, particularly a reinstated playpark at Figtree Park, and supported many successful plans for adaptive re-use of local buildings.
 

We are fortunate to have access to magnificent parkland, harbour foreshores and bushland and need to protect what we value for present and future generations.   The ongoing trend to fell mature trees and build to the fence […]

2021-11-27T11:47:57+11:00November 19, 2021|

What are the Options?

Council’s recent email gave us two design Options for Figtree Park https://www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/figtree  In both Options there are good improvements to play spaces and seating but as yet, it is not clear how the wide walking/bike tracks and buffer plantings will affect existing green space, or that trees will not be lost.

Council’s successful grant application to secure the $4.75m in funding stated their intention of “….. retaining the croquet club”. However this is not borne out by the design of Option 2 which completely removes the Croquet Green!   In addition the Consultation Report listing the top 3 comments from the Social Pinpoint Map (based on overall votes) excludes the following comment about the Croquet Club – which shoud have been No. 3!

 

“This is a lovely community hall that is used by a range of community groups and people. The croquet green is also used by the local high school for students to do croquet as a sporting activity. The croquet club covers the costs of preserving the natural green and it is a wonderful activity for all generations and should be further promoted.”        (94 combined votes, 87 Likes, 7 Dislikes)

Please respond to the survey and consider choosing Option 1, as removal of the Croquet Green and its historic Clubhouse would mean that this community asset, providing ‘all ages’ recreation would be lost.   In spite of the Property Strategy not yet returned for community consultation, Council’s plans for a knock down and rebuild development on the Gladesville Road sites appear to be further progressed, with the two design Options already showing the remaining four Gladesville Road buildings (with no. 48 removed to facilitate a new Park entry) assumed to be demolished, […]

2021-11-17T16:45:03+11:00November 5, 2021|

Unsustainable Synthetic Turf for Gladesville Reserve???

Hunters Hill Council has $2m funding from NSW government to spend on upgrading the Gladesville Reserve playing fields.  Council has proposed a fenced-off field with an artificial surface.  Sporting interests, mainly soccer, want a synthetic turf replacement but many in the local community are urging an improved natural turf surface to ensure this valued Crown Land remains accessible to all.

Council is required to consult widely prior to making a decision and you can learn more and get involved by signing the petition provided by the newly formed Sustaining Gladesville Reserve group at:

https://sustaininggr.org.au   

Their email address is SustainingGR@gmail.com if you would like to contact them directly.

A fenced off plastic surface will restrict activities other than sports and close off a shared community resource currently much used and enjoyed by all.  Synthetic turf is opposed for its many environmental disadvantages, particularly in a changing climate.  Microplastics migrate to waterways and bushland, vital natural processes are disrupted and native wildlife impacted.  Disposal of the plastic surface every decade or so remains very problematic.   Watch this YouTube showing the very successful natural turf upgrade at Middle Head Oval.

 

The Trust supports use of the funds to upgrade Gladesville Reserve’s facilities that benefit the whole community and the natural environment through proven techniques that provide a sustainable fit-for-purpose grassed surface. 

2021-11-10T14:14:14+11:00October 18, 2021|

Where are we up to with the Gladesville Master Plan?

Hunters Hill Council has prepared a revised Gladeville Master Plan whose stated aim is to provide an integrated plan for Gladesville Town Centre – but the main intent is to amend Hunters Hill Local Environment Plan 2012 (HHLEP) to enable greater development density!

The commercial zone along Victoria Rd from Junction St to Pittwater Rd is within a heritage conservation area and the Trust is opposed to the relocation or removal of the belatedly heritage listed Schedule 5 item at 10 Cowell Street, which was also sold to the developer but not adequately protected at the time.  The timber cottage can provide a low-key transition from the commercial to the residential zone which should act to inform and shape the redevelopment of the GSV site.  The issues are:

  • The form of the Block Studies (referred to as Blocks 1, 2 & 3) used for public exhibition are not sufficiently defined to comprehend the proposed redevelopment for these sections of the Master Plan. The three options outlined for Block 4 (Gladesville Shopping Centre/Key site) are called Concept Plans and are all relying on amendment to the HHLEP to build to greater heights and accommodate much larger numbers of units – up to 19 storeys in height!
  • The history of selling off Council land, now described as Block 4, in 2012 – without consultation with the community and adequate planning controls to guarantee public benefit – has left a legacy of mistrust.  Council amended the LEP to increase Floor Space Ratio (FSR) of 2.3 to 2.7. This allows greater bulk and permits building height of 34 metres – 180 residential units up to 8-10 storeys.  See the Trust’s submission here HHT Submission for Gladesville Master Plan
  • Council’s proposed further amendment from […]
2021-10-06T17:18:47+11:00October 6, 2021|

Groundhog day………!

Here we go again with yet another Development Application (DA20211185) for an inappropriate adaptive re-use of the iconic heritage building at 39 Alexandra Street, currently leased by The Lost & Found Department homewares outlet.
 

The new proposal is another attempt to over-develop this historic site with alterations and additions for shop-top housing with residential accommodation, a retail shop and a licensed restaurant seating 35-40 patrons operating from 7.00am to 10.00pm (in reality likely to be in operation around 18 hours per day).
 

If you feel that this iconic building deserves to remain the well-loved community asset it currently is, make your views known to Council at customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au by 24 Sept 2021.  Read the Trust’s submission here Submission re 39 Alexandra St
 

It is difficult to think of a more inappropriate use of this property. Restaurants are not in short supply in Hunters Hill. In fact, there are 3 within 50m of this site, as well as 4 more in Woolwich, barely 1km away, the Hunters Hill Club a few hundred metres distant and a clutch of eating establishments on Ryde and Gladesville Roads near the Hunters Hill Hotel. The Trust considers the civic importance of this corner location unsuitable for this type of development for the following reasons:

1.    The Plan is for a 2 storey modern extension to the heritage building with increased height, no setback, inappropriate materials and lack of landscaping – particularly unsuitable for a site opposite The Garibaldi Inn, one of Hunters Hill’s few State Heritage Listed structures.
2.    There is no mention of protecting the building’s interior which boasts many outstanding heritage features.
3.    The proposed hours of operation (minimum) 15 hours per day are far too long for a quiet neighbourhood and twice those of its […]

2021-09-24T18:07:49+11:00September 20, 2021|

Boronia Park Sports & Community Facility – Too big and in the wrong location

Mature eucalypts due for removal

 

Hunters Hill Council has now lodged a Development Application DA20211184 for a Sports & Community Facility at Boronia Park. You may have received a flyer from the Boronia Park Action Group inviting you to have your say on this development within our heritage-listed parkland. Submissions close on Friday 17 September 2021 at 4pm and we encourage you to make your views known to Council at customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au   The Trust’s submission is here Boronia Park

Council promotes this building as a ‘community facility’, although we know the Hunters Hill Rugby Club will have almost exclusive rights and access, at a nominal cost of $100 per annum!  Despite this, ratepayers are expected to cover an annual maintenance bill in excess of $38,000.

The need for better facilities in Boronia Park, such as female change rooms, storage, etc is clear, but amenities can be easily and more sustainably provided by restoring and extending the existing heritage grandstand, as intended by the original $1M State Government grant.  In fact, this site was identified in the 2015 Boronia Park Management Plan as being the most appropriate, reinforced in 2020 by Council’s independent consultant finding overwhelming support for the grandstand location, with 97 submissions in favour and only 6 opposed.

However the Plan adopted by Council, under pressure from the sporting lobby, instead locates a new 50 metre long, 8 metre high, two-storey facility between Ovals 1 & 2.  This oversized structure will act as a wall between the two ovals, destroying views across Boronia Park to bushland and compromising the expansive sense of open space.  It will require a lift to reach the viewing platform, adding to maintenance costs and energy use, and will be lit up until 11pm at […]

2021-09-16T17:06:18+11:00September 8, 2021|

Figtree Park ‘Consultation’

The Trust welcomes Council’s interest in Figtree Park now they have to spend the huge Public Spaces Legacy Grant they inexplicably applied for, for just this one small space!  We are puzzled as to why muliple smaller Grants were not sought to cover the needs of other parks in the municipality that were eligible under the guidelines.  Counci now has $4.75 million to spend on this small park (the rules do not allow the money to be allocated elsewhere) although they have confirmed that unspent funds can be handed back to the State.

Council is requesting our ‘Participation’ in an online survey for Figtree Park.  We know from past experience particularly at the time of the Draft Community Infrastructure Plan when one interest group was able to stack responses, that this type of survey is an unreliable indicator of community views.

We have therefore prepared our own Submission for Figtree Park Consultation and urge you to email the General Manager tobinn@huntershill.nsw.gov.au and Councillors directly with your own views on what you do and don’t want to see in the Park.  Closing date for submissiions is 21 August 2021.

Your email can be very brief, eg supporting a small play area in its previous location, more seating, fencing along Ryde Road, no loss of existing green space, trees etc.  Or you may want to question the appropriateness of Council’s wider plans for public art; an elaborate ‘Changing Places’ amenity block; Infrastructure for events and car parking; paved areas; increased lighting and Smart City Integration etc…..

2021-08-30T15:22:01+11:00August 19, 2021|

Another twist in the saga……

What next for Figtree Park?

Following on from our post below – we have now received a reply from the General Manager Letter from HHC GM in response to our query as to why elements of the unadopted Property Strategy appear in the draft Figtree Park Plan of Management.  As you will see, he acknowledges that this has occured, but under section 8 ‘Future Uses’

In response to our request that any comments or suggestions in the Ideas Map not pertaining to the open space of the Park will be excluded from the Survey responses, the General Manager goes on to confirm that ‘All comments recorded during the consultation period will be included in the summary of feedback but as detailed earlier only those items which are permissible under the Figtree Reserve Plan of Management will consider [sic].’  We will be holding him to his word.
 

At its March meeting, Council approved a Plan of Management for Figtree Plan to be sent to the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment for review.  It has not yet been placed on public exhibition but we have been sufficiently dismayed by its content to approach the Minister Figtree dPoM letter to Rob Stokes 16 July 2021

Our concerns are that the Plan of Management appears to deliberately conflate the modest updates required for the Park with elements of Council’s controversial draft Property Strategy, which was not adopted due to wide opposition from the community – and residents are still awaiting the promised revisions.  Also by calling it the Plan of Management 2021 ‘Figtree Park and Gladesville Community Centre reserves – Part of the ‘Village Green Hub, it appears to be a contrived attempt by Council to entrench its development-driven proposals for the existing village into the Plan.

To […]
2021-08-19T16:06:18+11:00July 21, 2021|

Hunters Hill Trust Journal June 2021

This month’s HHT Journal June 2021 provides an update on the plans for Figtree Park in light of the $4.75 Public Spaces Legacy Grant.  Details of the Grant Application submitted by Hunters Hill Council were not released to the community.  The Trust was therefore obliged to request them under the Freedom of Information (GIPA) Act and the relevant information is below:

Summary Grant Application HHC and Draft Budget attachment to Grant Application HHC  and Unique Visits Figtree Park Grant Application HHC 

 

This edition includes:

  • From the President’s Desktop
  • The 50th celebration of the Battle for Kelly’s Bush
  • What’s happening at Figtree Park and the $4.75M Public Spaces Legacy Grant
  • The deferred Property Strategy 2021
  • The cautionary tale of 61 Downing Place
  • Tony Coote – a celebration of 50 years’ dedication to the heritage of Hunters Hill
  • Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1977
  • Date of Council Elections 2021

 

2021-07-12T10:38:29+11:00July 6, 2021|
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