Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

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|

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|

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.

2019-05-04T11:40:50+11:00April 27, 2019|

Sir John Sulman’s vision of a ‘garden city’

18 Richmond Crescent Gladesville

This house at 18 Richmond Crescent Gladesville was featured in the November 2016 Trust Journal under the heading ‘Heritage under Threat‘. Council had received a development application to demolish the house and construct a new, much larger, house in its place.  Trust committee member, Caroline Mackaness, wrote a submission to Council about it, much of which was published in the Journal article.

The house is in Conservation Area C1 and Conservation Area C435 (Dept of Housing Subdivision) and is within the General Landscape Conservation Area. The subdivision was designed by Sir John Sulman in 1919.

Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel advised Council that, in its view, the existing cottage should be retained as a largely intact example of the housing built by NSW Department of Housing in the early post-WW1 development of the area.  The Panel also considered the proposed replacement house to be inappropriate in its response to the streetscape, which is typified by asymmetrical facades.  Council also received a number of individual objections and a petition opposing the application. […]

2017-10-07T11:48:33+11:00September 29, 2017|

Effects of living near a busy road…

Image:  The Telegraph UK 2017

Have you ever wondered about the longterm health effects on noise, vibration, airborne pollution?

Evidence about the risks is accumulating. A decade-long study of 6.6 million people, published in the The Lancet, found that one in 10 dementia deaths in people living within 50 metres of a busy road was attributable to fumes and noise. There was a linear decline in deaths the further people lived away from heavy traffic.

The Age reports on a major US study that links asthma and  cardiovascular disease to living up to 500m of a busy road.
Our very own Dept of Planning set out guidelines for managing risks back in 2008:  Development Near Busy Roads, NSW Dept Planning.
So how come we are building stacks of accommodation along the major highways of Sydney right now?
2017-07-25T14:55:18+11:00July 25, 2017|

Heritage protection as the juggernaut thunders on

On Thursday 20 July, Trust Committee Members met with Anthony Roberts, Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing, and Special Minister for State, Leader of the House to discuss heritage and planning in NSW. The Department of Planning and Environment Secretary, Carolyn McNally was also present.

A number of matters were canvassed including the Trust’s submission to the Greater Sydney Commission and submissions on the Gladesville Shopping Village and revisions to the Housing Code. The Trust raised the need for stronger heritage protections with the loss of heritage across Sydney, providing examples of local items lost and under threat and, further afield, the significant Thompson Square at Windsor that is under threat of destruction by the RMS for a major road and new bridge.
[…]

2017-08-08T16:56:50+11:00July 25, 2017|
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