Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

Another twist in the saga……

What next for Figtree Park?

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 confuse matters further, the first stage of the online Figtree Park consultation includes not just a ‘Survey’ but an ‘Ideas Map’ for the surrounding area.  Rather than simply obtaining community views on Figtree Park’s open space, this again misleadingly inserts the draft Property Strategy into the Plan.  The Ideas Map already has comments and suggestions that are well beyond the scope of the grant conditions and are completely irrelevant to “Reimagining Figtree Park”.
 

We have approached Council for an explanation as to how the proposals in the draft Property Strategy came to be included in the PoM for Figtree Park plus an assurance 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.

 

2021-07-21T13:59:59+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|

Yet another threat to our heritage…..?

Update on Willow Grove 16 July 2021

The Supreme Court of NSW today upheld the decision to allow the NSW Government to demolish the 140-year-old locally heritage listed ‘Willow Grove’ in Parramatta.  The North Parramatta Residents Action Group (NPRAG) challenged the planning approval on the basis that the environmental assessment failed to meet essential requirements designed to protect Parramatta’s heritage.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said: “Today’s decision is a tough one for the campaign to save Willow Grove but the fight is far from over and the Green ban remains in place. So much of Parramatta’s heritage has already been destroyed by overdevelopment that saving Willow Grove is now even more important.  The Berejiklian government now needs to explain to the community how knocking down Willow Grove is ‘essential’ work during a lockdown.

Regardless of today’s judgment the Green Ban remains in place and the community fight to save Willow Grove continues with the strong support of the union movement and local campaigners.  Thank goodness Parramatta has staunch supporters like the North Parramatta Residents Action group, which has saved Willow Grove so far and continues to stand strong against these threats of destruction.  Parramatta should not have to choose between having a world-class museum and retaining its precious heritage – it deserves both and that’s our goal in this campaign,”  Mr Shoebridge said.

Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1977

There is grave concern that the current Parliamentary Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1977 is an attempt to water down protections for heritage across our State perhaps prompted by the long running battle to save historic Willow Grove Villa on the Parramatta Powerhouse site. The 130-year-old heritage building is set to be relocated for the construction of the Museum (on the site of a floodplain), in spite […]

2021-07-20T08:41:02+11:00July 2, 2021|

Hunters Hill Trust AGM 2021 (now to be held via Zoom) & Information Evening (postponed)

Due to the new COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney we cannot go ahead with our planned in-person event at the RSL Hall.  We have no alternative but to postpone the Information Evening to a later date when this outbreak is under control (and before the Council elections) and hold the AGM  by Zoom.  A disappointing outcome for our meeting but looking forward to rescheduling as soon as possible – so watch this space!

 

Hunters Hill Trust Logo

When:  Thursday 24 June 2021 6.30pm for 7pm

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

RSVP:  members@huntershilltrust.org.au

We invite members to come along at 6.30pm for a long overdue get-together over drinks and nibbles!  After a short AGM at 7pm and a break to refresh our glasses, at 7.30pm, our guest speaker Mayor Ross Williams will talk to us about the latest proposals and consultation regarding Council’s Property Strategy and newly released plans for Figtree Park.  These plans are in the Agenda for Council’s meeting on 21 June under Item 6 Public Spaces Legacy Project at Figtree Park

2021-06-24T19:11:30+11:00June 21, 2021|

GOING…….. GOING…….. GONE?

Under the current Property Strategy – this would be the result if the proposed ‘Village Hub’ at Figtree Park went ahead – the low rise leafy entrance to the village replaced by a multi-storey development.  A large development of this nature including residential, offices, commercial space, retail etc would inevitably encroach on precious green space and add even more traffic and congestion to the area.

Now that the Property Strategy is to be subject to further community engagement before it is formally accepted (see our recent flyer Do you know what’s happening in Hunters Hill) we await Council’s needs analysis, fully-costed business case and justification for taking this drastic course of action.

 

GOING…..

GOING…….

GONE…….?

2021-05-23T11:50:13+11:00May 15, 2021|

Some good news at last!

Our thanks go to Mayor Ross Williams and Councillors Sanderson, Krassoi and McLaughlin who voted at Council’s meeting on 26th April for Agenda Item 4.3 Property Strategy (formerly the Draft Community Infrastructure Plan) to be subject to further community engagement before it is formally accepted.

A huge thank you also to those Trust members who took the trouble to write in with their own submissions or to attend the meeting to address Council.  There were some powerful and erudite presentations and we commend those residents who spoke so passionately.

Here are the outcomes of the main Agenda items:

4.1 Draft Hunters Hill Local Housing Strategy (LHS) Outcome of Public Exhibition

Despite the best efforts of Councillor Sanderson to achieve better outcomes, the LHS was adopted without substantial amendment, with the support of Councillors Miles, Collins, Krassoi and McLaughlin. Regrettably, there was little regard for the 37 submissions received, nearly 90% of which expressed concern about the impact on heritage and the environment and strong opposition to development over and above State targets.

4.2 Boronia Park sports and community facility

The Heritage Grandstand will not be restored even though the State Government Grant was given for that specific purpose plus the upgrade of sporting facilities.  The Rugby Club has been awarded two government grants totaling $1.5m but will make only a capital ‘contribution’ to the construction costs of the building and pay a peppercorn rent for 20 years In a recent communication, Council had assured the community that ratepayers’ money would not be used to assist with the Rugby Club facility, but now it has committed $100,000 ‘in-kind’.

Speakers were opposed to the new facility on the basis of size, location, Licence Conditions of Use, an inadequate business case, impact on local residents and the loss of three magnificent Eucalypts.  View a recent letter to the TWT from one of […]

2021-05-15T12:33:09+11:00May 8, 2021|

In case you missed it….!

Our President’s piece in the TWT this week on the vexed question of Hunters Hill Council’s push for ‘additional‘ development over and above dwelling targets set by State bodies.

2021-03-11T17:29:19+11:00March 11, 2021|

HHT Submission to Council on the Draft Local Housing Strategy

Summary

Behind the analysis and proposals of the Draft Local Housing Strategy (dLHS) is an assumption that Hunters Hill housing density must increase. Certainly, Government has imposed a modest increase, and undoubtedly those who profit from development would support a greater increase, but this Strategy should satisfy the ‘needs and aspirations‘ of the residents. This draft Strategy fails to establish whether the residents of Hunters Hill seek more than the current continuing increase which alone will satisfy Government’s requests.

As observed in the Executive Summary of the dLHS, ‘Development in Hunter’s Hill will remain highly constrained and land/property is set to become increasingly unaffordable. A capacity assessment under existing planning controls reveals very limited ability to support new development across the majority of the LGA. These factors, combined with slow population growth and a relatively small population, mean that implied dwelling demand as assessed by NSW DPIE capacity experts remains low.’

In recognition of the predictions of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and the recommendations of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), the dwelling targets for Hunters Hill are modest relative to much of Sydney, and most will be achieved by continuing the current level of development. While Council is obliged to prepare a housing strategy it need not impose a greater increase than that suggested by Government, and should not use this opportunity to formalise the suggestions made in HH Local Strategic Planning Statement of 2019 (LSPS), and the draft Community Infrastructure Plan 2020 (dCIP); still in draft form.

Major shortcomings of the Strategy

  • The strategy fails to meet the Vision stated at its beginning (p4). The first paragraph of the Vision would apply to anywhere in Australia. And the […]
2021-02-28T06:51:16+11:00February 27, 2021|

Another Year, Another Plan!

You may not be aware that HH Council has prepared a draft Local Housing Strategy (LHS) for community comment, for future dwelling targets up to 2041 – as required by the State Government.

The Trust is concerned that behind the analysis and proposals of the LHS, is an assumption that Hunters Hill housing density must increase.  Certainly, Government has imposed a modest increase, and undoubtedly those who profit from development would support a greater increase, but the Strategy’s stated first Housing Priority is to ‘meet community needs and aspirations’ (p46).  The LHS fails to establish whether the residents of Hunters Hill in fact wish for more than the gradual dwelling increase imposed by Government or to justify why Council is seeking additional development opportunities.

So we are asking why:

1.   Council is seeking development opportunities in excess of the dwellings required by the Department of Planning and the Greater Sydney Commission’s North District Plan.  The LHS appears to align with the development proposals contained in the recent Community Infrastructure Plan (CIP) with its particular focus on Figtree/Hunters Hill Village.

2.   Council has not updated the community on the responses to the CIP.  We do not believe the community wants greater dwelling targets and increased development adversely impacting the existing fabric of the Municipality – such as the major re-development mooted for Figtree Park/Gladesville Road.

3.   Council recognises ‘ongoing environmental impacts of increased residential densities ie traffic management’ but is still pursuing plans for additional development which will inevitably lead to increased traffic in already heavily congested areas.

4.   Council’s Community Infrastructure Plan and draft Local Housing Strategy both promote additional development when it appears we are already on track to meet our LGA’s dwelling targets.

You’ll find the […]

2021-02-17T19:04:41+11:00February 16, 2021|

Our chance to protect our trees!

You may have already seen the good news that, for the first time since 2015, Council has opened the Significant Tree Register (STR).  You can now nominate your favourite tree/s or even a whole street or group of significant trees for assessment!  This is such an important tool to protect our green canopy as, now more than ever, we are losing so many of our mature specimens.  For example during just one month in November last year, Council approved individual DAs that in total allowed the removal of around 20 trees!

Access to the form is only open until 26 February so we would urge you to nominate your favourite trees ASAP.  Here is the link to click through to the Nomination Form and where you can view the current list  https://www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/development/plans-policies-and-controls/significant-tree-register/

Email your form to council@huntershill.nsw.gov.au with ‘New Nomination for STR’ in the subject line and include your contact details or post to: General Manager, Hunters Hill Council, 22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110.

This is our chance to help protect our irreplaceable green heritage which is continually under threat!

 

2021-05-15T15:09:03+11:00February 13, 2021|
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