St Joseph’s College plans to build a huge basketball complex and gymnasium. The basketball court building would be more than 14m high and extend 95m along Luke Street and 34m along Gladesville Road. This is almost twice the height of what is allowed by houses in the adjacent streets.
St Joseph’s College is heritage listed (Heritage Item 1242) and is also within Hunters Hill Council’s General Conservation Area. The current plans have negative impacts on this Heritage Item and also on the local Conservation Area.
The style of the BASKETBALL COMPLEX building has been described as “brutal,” “stark” and “industrial” and is at odds with the residential scale and character of the surrounding streets. It will destroy the garden setting and completely change the character of this part of the campus. Views of various buildings and landscape features will be obliterated.
The heritage-listed stonewalls to Gladesville Road and Luke St will be overwhelmed by the scale of the new structure’s walls. The street trees in Luke St, on public land, will be ‘demolished and replaced’. Existing properties in Luke St will be over shadowed and lose afternoon sun in winter. There will also be sound problems and traffic problems.
The form and finishes of the GYMNASIUM are also unsympathetic to the existing surrounding buildings. The landscaped area between the Brothers’ Residence and Chapel will be destroyed.
Since this proposal is being classed as a State Significant Development, the College is not necessarily bound by the LEP controls that every other ratepayer is required to abide by. The College still has a moral duty to do the right thing by the community and to respect the objectives and controls set out in Hunters Hill Council’s Local Environment Plan and its Development Control Plan, not just to its own heritage listed campus, but also to the neighbourhood.
The Trust urges Council and the Local Planning Panel, which will ultimately assess the proposals, to reject both in their entirety. Read the Trust’s detailed assessment of the College’s proposal here. For more details of the proposed works: Check here.
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