Christmas Party & ‘The Heritage of Hunters Hill’ Book Launch

Our Christmas Party this year will be held on Thursday 28 November at the RSL Hall, corner Ady and Alexandra Streets from 6.30pm.  As usual there’ll be good food, good company and musical entertainment.

At the party we will be launching the print edition of our updated publication ‘The  Heritage of Hunters Hill’ and below is a ‘sneak peek’.  The book now features almost 500 homes in our lovely suburb, and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to bring it up to date with many new photos and the inclusion of some fine examples of houses up to the 1930s.

The publication has been printed in colour and will retail will retail at $55 but there will be a 10% discount on the night!

We’d love you to join us for this celebration and please RSVP to asap.  Payment can either be made by bank transfer to: CBA Bank, BSB: 062000, Acct No: 16211909, Acct Name: Hunters Hill Trust (please identify yourself on your payment) or by cheque to Hunters Hill Trust, PO Box 85, Hunters Hill 2110.  

Do come along and celebrate this milestone with us!

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Historical Walk – Greenwich Foreshore

Fabulous sunshine greeted us on Sunday for our July walk around the Greenwich foreshore.  A large and enthusiastic group took the short ferry ride across the water and within minutes were admiring the views of the picturesque and well-kept Greenwich Baths, opened in 1916.  The route took us past beautiful heritage homes with amazing vistas from every point.  The many mature Moreton Bay fig trees and leafy areas of Manns Point Park were particularly impressive. 

We then tackled the steep climb up the sandstone steps to the lookout and were rewarded with stunning 180 degree views of the Harbour Bridge on one side and Cockatoo Island on the other.  Another interesting and enjoyable walk around an area unfamiliar to some of our members and many thanks to our guide, Len Dowsett.

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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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