St Peter Chanel Church – Development Update

A Win for Heritage in the Land and Environment Court!

Following the formal onsite meeting of the Land and Environment Court (LEC) on 28 May, the Hunters Hill Trust is pleased to report that the LEC has refused the DA but encourages members to maintain a watching brief in case the decision is appealed. Council’s solicitors wrote to residents setting out the reasons for the judgement as follows:

The Commissioner’s ‘reasons for refusal chiefly related to the proposal’s detrimental impact on the heritage significance of the site, including impacting on views to and from the Church, the impact on the setting and curtilage of the Church as well as the uncertainty regarding contamination of the site.’

The Trust supported Hunters Hill Council in believing the sub-division would have been entirely unsuitable for the site. Apart from detracting from the character of the Church’s setting within the heritage of Crescent Street and compromising a significant landmark visible from the water, the location would have been difficult to build on and would have resulted in the destruction of the sandstone rock shelf and mature trees.

We congratulate all residents and objectors who presented such a strong case and stood up in defence of heritage.

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St Joseph’s College Historical Tour – June 2019

This month’s walk was a tour of St Joseph’s College historical precinct led by Richard Quinn, former mayor of Hunters Hill and our knowledgeable guide, and was enjoyed by our biggest group ever!

36 people attended the tour, which commenced with the history of the Marist Brothers in Australia and the purchase of the entrance gates from Sydney Town Hall. The extensive route took us through the historic buildings dating from 1878 with their carefully restored rooms displaying the history of the school, including artworks and statues. 


So many highlights – particular call-outs were the wonderful chapel and the Cupola. The Chapel, opened in 1940, was recently restored and contains a magnificent plaster ceiling surrounded by an extensive collection of stained glass windows.  We were treated to an impromptu organ recital by our guide on the historic pipe organ which also has its own wonderful restoration story.

Onwards and upwards to the Cupola – 100 or so steps up a winding staircase to the roof revealed magnificent 360 degree views of the district.  The Cupola, with its landmark statue of Our Lady clearly visible throughout the suburb, was added in 1904. 

A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting tour of this important and significant part of our suburb’s history and one which we hope to repeat for the many who missed out this time round.

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Inclusive playground in Boronia Park: CAUTION

The Weekly Times (10 April) reports that Council’s plans for an ‘all ability, inclusive’ playground are progressing, with funding of $250,000 already secured. When this project was proposed the Trust expressed concern that:

  • the playground needs to be compatible with the Plan of Management for Boronia Park
  • this type of playground needs a higher level of maintenance than standard Council playgrounds, so Council will need to plan for a maintenance budget. (Livvy’s Place playgrounds in Ryde and Five Dock show why this will be needed).

The Trust is part of Council’s Community Advisory Group that influences the Boronia Park’s Plan of Management. The Trust has been actively involved in developing the Boronia Park Plan of Management and remains committed to protecting, conserving and enhancing our heritage-listed site.

Green space is so precious, especially with the massive developments happening around us.

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New Ministries and departments in NSW

Planning administration is changing following the NSW election. The full impacts won’t be known until the new arrangements start operating, but we already have concerns.

Image: Smithsonian

The powers of the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Office of Local Government have been transferred to the Premier or the new Minister for Planning and Public Spaces (formerly Planning and Environment).

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces now has responsibility for over 100 Acts including:
• The Local Government Act;
• Planning related Acts:
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
Land and Environment Court Act 1979 No 204
National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 No 80.

Now that the Office of Environment and Heritage been abolished, the submissions and assessments lodged as part of a planning consultation process by an independent agency will no longer be visible to the public. Instead, assessments and advice will go to internal managers and not into the public domain.

Better Planning Network provides more information.

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Hunters Hill Trust AGM 2019

When:  Thursday 16 May 6.45 pm for 7:00pm

Where:  RSL Hall, corner of Ady and Alexandra Streets, Hunters Hill

AGM business:   Nominations are called for the positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary (non-Minute taking) and 5 committee members.  If you would like to nominate for any committee role, please complete this form and lodge it with the Secretary at least 7 days before the meeting.  Nominees for positions must be financial members of the Trust and, similarly, those eligible to vote either at the meeting or by proxy, must also be financial members.

After our short AGM business there will be a general meeting and then our AGM talk.

2019 AGM Talk:  “A ‘Saint’ from All Saints”

Our speaker this year will be Chris Schofield, President of the Historical Society, who will be regaling us with his fascinating research into a local identity.  His talk is called “A ‘Saint’ from All Saints” a journey of local discovery. All members are welcome.  Come and join us for some cheese and wine and an entertaining evening.

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‘exempt & complying developments’ threaten HH character

under construction

heritage item next door

A recent development at No 8 Earnshaw Street Gladesville (at left) is an example of the impact of the Exempt and Complying Development Code on the character of Hunters Hill.

Were it not for the Complying Development SEPP this development proposal would have been assessed under the controls of Hunters Hill Council’s LEP and DCP.  Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel would have viewed the proposal and its advice incorporated into Council’s assessment.

There is another anomaly with this particular development.  At first sight it would appear to be a dual occupancy on a single block of land.  However this is not the case.   There are in fact two lots at 8 Earnshaw St.   One is just over 6m wide, while the other is a little over 12m wide.  The smaller block has an area of around 230m2 and the larger block’s area is about 450m2.  Neither block complies with the LEP minimum of 700m2.  How this unusual subdivision occurred is not known.

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Another blow to heritage in NSW

The recently re-elected Liberal State Government will dismantle that the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and its two principal functions will be absorbed by other departments.

ArchitectureAU says “The environmental protection and management functions of the office will be moved to an enlarged “Planning and Industry” department, while the heritage functions of the office will be moved to the arts portfolio.  Speaking to reporters on 2 April, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “We’ve moved heritage into the arts, because heritage and the arts have a very strong focus.”

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‘Exempt and complying developments’ in Hunters Hill

In 2008 the NSW State Labor Government introduced State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying  Development Codes) to ‘provide streamlined assessment processes for development that complies with specified development standards’.   Exempt and Complying Development Certificates are issued by the Accredited Certifier, which in most cases is a Private Certifier appointed by the owner of the proposed development.  Council can also be nominated as the Accredited Certifier.

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NSW Office of Environment and Heritage disbanded

It can be tough reading the news these days. Architectureau.com reports that the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage will be dismantled and its two principal functions absorbed by other departments, following the re-election of the NSW government in March.

Design Guide for Heritage

The environmental protection and management functions of the office will be moved to an enlarged “Planning and Industry” department, and the heritage functions of the office will be moved to the arts portfolio.

The Heritage Council of NSW’s  ‘Design Guide for Heritage’ shows how to use innovative, creative, and sensitive design approaches to heritage.

People of NSW are increasingly distressed about the impacts of rampant over-development.

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Vintage boat trip, Sunday 7th April

Regal II

Perfect weather with blue skies and sparkling water greeted us on Sunday morning, as we set off on our cruise on the comfortable vintage ferry Regal II.  Plenty of food and drink added to our enjoyment as we took a different route this year, travelling down the Lane Cove river and past Onions Point, before cruising along the Parramatta River.

Rodd Island

We sailed under the Iron Cove and Tarban Creek bridges, past the Balmain foreshore and as far as Rodd Island where, courtesy of Brigid Dowsett & Tony Saunders, we were entertained with a story involving the Island and Sarah Bernhardt’s visit to Australia in June 1891.

Iron Cove bridge

Tarban Creek bridge

We sailed past Spectacle and Snapper Islands and learned more interesting facts about these historic Islands, courtesy of Karen Presland.  We then meandered back up to Tarban Creek, where we once again enjoyed the beautiful view of Riverglade Reserve from the water.

 

 

Brigid Dowsett & Karen Presland

A lovely relaxing trip appreciated by a large group of HHT members and our friends from the Historical Society.

Photos by Judith Johnson and Karen Presland

 

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