Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

What’s the community benefit of 20 year licence over Boronia Park?

Boronia Park is dedicated crown land reserved for Public Recreation, however the proposed Licence Agreement between Hunters Hill Council and Hunters Hill Rugby Union Football Club, allows the Rugby Club almost exclusive rights to the planned facility and expanded use of all 3 playing fields plus parking areas and access roads, for a period of 20 years.
Council argues that the Rugby Club will not need to pay for use of the facility, or contribute to its maintenance, because of their ‘significant financial contribution’ to Council. This contribution consists almost entirely of Government grants, and tax deductible donations. The guidelines of the three government grants effectively “gifted” to Council and/or the Rugby Club by local State and Federal politicians, are ambiguous.
None specifically state that it is to fund construction of the facility identified in the approved DA as the ‘Boronia Park Sports and Community Facility’ for which there has been no open tender process and a lack of transparency as to whether the combined funds will actually cover the final cost of the building.

Site of new ‘facility’ will involve cutting down these mature Eucalypts

The Trust objects to the proposed licence, which will result in ratepayers being responsible for the long term upkeep of the ‘facility’. It is highly unlikely that residents will receive any significant benefit because the bulk of the bookings will be for the exclusive use of the Rugby club.
We question whether Council has demonstrated responsible management of its finances or of the public land under its care and control.
Objections can be submitted to the General Manager at by Wed 26 October.  See the Trust’s submission here Boronia Park Licence Agreement HHT submssion

2022-11-02T12:22:25+11:00October 23, 2022|

Where to next for Figtree Park……??

Following community concerns regarding the controversial Figtree Park DA to remove 37 trees (see August posts below), Council resolved to review the DA and the scale of the infrastructure. No word yet but we’re looking forward to hearing the new proposals for this unique park.
Meanwhile back at the park, the trees under threat have been putting on a beautiful show…..!   After some gorgeous spring blossoms, the deciduous trees in the two pictures below are now full of summer foliage and providing a leafy haven for the birds….


This 13m high Willow Gum and the three Weeping Elms behind it are looking good – but are they still under threat….?


And what about these lovely slow growing and sculptural Junipers? Are they safe?

Residents will be expecting careful consideration by Council to ensure the new design avoids the unwarranted removal of healthy trees.

2022-11-07T08:46:55+11:00October 21, 2022|

Save the date…..Friday 9 December 6-9pm!

Our Christmas Party this year will be on the water!
We will be having a leisurely twilight river cruise onboard the vintage boat ‘Radar’.    This comfortable wooden ferry has for decades plied the routes along the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, so this trip may be a little nostalgic for some!
In any case, it will be a perfect opportunity for us all to view our lovely foreshore from the water, whilst enjoying a delicious buffet and glass or two of wine.
The cruise will be on Friday 9 December from 6-9pm and tickets are $65 per head.  Friends and family are also welcome.
RSVP to to reserve your space ASAP and please make your payment by 31 October to: CBA Bank, BSB: 062000, Acct No: 16211909 or by cheque to PO Box 85 Hunters Hill 2110.
We look forward to celebrating with you in person and marking the end of yet another eventful year!


2022-10-12T16:28:26+11:00October 12, 2022|

Remnant Public Land ‘Sell Off’ Motion Passed by Council

You may have missed the report below in this week’s TWT about Council passing a compromise motion for a partial sell off of so-called “remnant land” alongside 10 Lloyd Avenue.   The sale of this portion of nature strip is a controversial decision that will set a dangerous precedent and Councillors Sanderson and Wiilliams have stated they will be submitting a recession motion against it.
Council’s own Bushland Management Committee keenly supports the retention of these public lands and their value to increasing biodiversity in our neighbourhoods.  There is an opportunity for planting canopy trees and smaller native species to create wildlife corridors and such actions must be recognised as being beneficial for the whole community. No-one can be unaware of the importance of creating and maintaining a ‘green shield’ against our increasingly harsh climate.
It is critical that these public lands remain in community ownership and are not seen as easy income for a cash-strapped Council.
The decision by Council to surrender public green space appears to be at odds with Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Krassoi who, in her ‘To the Point’ article in the same newspaper, has come out in defence of the importance of preserving our green spaces!

We wholeheartedly agree with her statement that: “With world bee and bird populations in free fall, there has never been a more important time to plan and plant for a greener future in our public places……”

And are delighted to note that Council is: “strategically planning for care of our existing valuable trees and for much more planting on public and private land”.

We look forward to seeing how this worthy ambition translates into the review of the DA to remove 37 trees at Figtree Park.



2022-10-04T10:56:26+11:00October 1, 2022|

Demolition of 48 Gladesville Road – for the community or for development?

The Local Planning Panel has approved the demolition of the Council-owned house at 48 Gladesville Road.

Although the reason given for this DA is to provide an entry to Figtree Park, the community can be forgiven for being cynical about this demolition, as 48 Gladesville Road is one of the row of five buildings long-considered a ‘redevelopment opportunity’ by Council as part of their Draft Property Strategy.

This Strategy was rejected by the community last year and therefore not adopted by Council, but this DA with its Notification Plan and drawings marked as HUNTERS HILL NEW COUNCIL CHAMBERS, PARK & COMMUNITY CENTRE now appears to progress this redevelopment agenda.

This is hardly the transparency that Council has promised ratepayers, who should be given the courtesy of full disclosure of its real intentions.

The Trust’s concerns are:

48 Gladesville Road

1.  The work does not comply with the $4.75M Public Spaces Legacy Grant

  • This demolition conflicts with Council’s Grant application which stated that Council would: “Maintain the character of Hunters Hill and manage growth by protecting heritage cottages on Gladesville Road”
  • The guidelines for the Grant specifically exclude work on privately owned land – 48 Gladesville Road is privately owned by Council. Also the Grant rules do not support using funds for demolition “unless council has documented and published evidence of an existing deficiency in open space” which is clearly not the case here.

2.  Existing access points through to the Park from Gladesville Road could be easily upgraded

  • There are already existing access pathways to the park, which could have been upgraded and improved to provide a wide walkway at a fraction of the cost and with the least amount of disruption. To demolish a revenue-generating property simply to create a huge entrance to a small park is an irresponsible waste of resources.

3.  Loss of rental revenue of approximately $35,000 per annum

  • There has been no explanation to ratepayers as to how Council will mitigate the loss of ongoing rental revenue from this property and no discussion about alternative income-generating options that the building could have provided.

4.  Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel does not support the demolition of this property

  • The expert panel advised that this house makes an important contribution to the conservation area and the streetscape, whilst providing a low key backdrop to the park. They recommended that the existing access to the park be re-animated and options for adaptive re-use of the house as an asset to the park should be considered thoroughly prior to deciding on demolition.

5.  Local Planning Panel approval may not align with Council’s recently approved Figtree Park Plan of Management

  • Item 8.3 of the Plan of Management states: “Council-owned adjacent land at 48 Gladesville Rd could contribute to the proposal either as seniors living accommodation land / age in place / over 55s, or as community land to contribute to the local government, community or open space outcomes as best suits final designs.”
  • The Local Planning Panel has approved the demolition on the basis that this site would be used for creating an entry to the park. However as Council has expressed a potential longer-term use as above, the approval does not align with the site being used as part of a development.


2022-11-02T12:38:15+11:00September 26, 2022|

Figtree Park DA withdrawn for re-assessment

At its meeting on Monday 15th August, Council resolved unanimously to withdraw the current Figtree Park proposal to remove 37 trees, pending a re-assessment. The General Manager informed the meeting that late last week he had briefed the Council with advice that the number of trees to be culled could be reduced, and that the scale of the proposed amenities block and play space could also be reduced.
Presentations were made at the Council meeting by residents, a local action group and the Rotary Club in support of a motion put up by Councillors Williams and Sanderson to defer the DA.  A revised proposal is to be presented to an Extraordinary Council Meeting in the next few weeks.
We are pleased that Council has now responded to community concerns and look forward to future inclusive consultations.
Below is the report from The Weekly Times of 17 August 2022:

                                                                                                              Photo courtesy of A Current Affair











2022-10-15T19:35:12+11:00August 17, 2022|

‘A Current Affair’ in the Park!

Figtree Park in summer

We’re pleased to report that Figtree Park has recently been getting some publicity!  A local resident group invited A Current Affair to visit and film onsite to highlight the potential over-development of this area  in relation to the $4.75m Public Spaces Legacy Grant from the NSW State Government (see our posts below).   Council’s recent DA to remove 37 trees was also a contentious issue.

Watch here:

Source: Channel 9



2022-10-15T19:46:47+11:00August 13, 2022|

HHT Journal July 2022

4 Viret Street Hunters Hill

Our HHT Journal for July 2022 is now published and covers the continued loss of our urban trees and the changing face of our municipality as our 20th century homes become increasingly under threat.  Page 3 & 4 is a special supplement featuring two modernist mid-century homes built by notable architects.  We hope to continue this feature in future journals, so that it can become a ‘register’ to ensure these important local houses are recognised and preserved.
This edition includes:

    • From the President’s Desktop
    • Some of the homes we’ve lost and our changing streetscape
    • Hunters Hill Modern
    • The continuing loss of our trees
    • Powerhouse update
    • Don’t Block the Rocks
    • Central Barangaroo Concept Plan development proposal (see HHT Submission here)

    • Vale Tony Coote


2022-08-17T07:04:20+10:00August 6, 2022|

Groundhog Day 2….!

The local store circa 1890

Well, we didn’t expect to have to be defending the little historic building at 39 Alexandra Street, currently The Lost & Found Department, from an inappropriate change of use again quite so soon (see our post September 20, 2021).
This wonderful business which has contributed to the charm and success of this commercial and historic 19th century precinct at the heart of our community is again under threat.
The applicant’s 2021 DA for “a shop top housing development with residential accommodation on the first floor, and a retail shop and licenced restaurant on the ground floor”, was withdrawn in November 2021 but this latest proposal is now seeking approval for an increased level of development, 58 patrons up from 40, additional staff, and a bar.

The new DA does not address any of the issues the community raised previously and here is the Trust’s written Submission regarding this proposal. HHT Submission 39 Alexandra Street    As this is a new proposal and will be considered on its merits, if you wrote a previous submission, you can update it quoting DA20220114 and repeat your arguments.  If you haven’t previously sent a submission and would like to do so, email your comments quoting the above DA to by Monday 1st August.

2022-07-30T09:03:04+10:00July 29, 2022|

A Tribute to Tony Coote

Tony Coote died peacefully in his home on 20 June, aged 78. Tony was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease two and a half years ago, and the ravages of the disease took its toll on his body.  He has been a tower of strength and knowledge for the Hunters Hill Trust, and we will miss being able to draw on his exceptional wisdom and experience.  And we will miss him personally.
Tony harboured a deep and abiding passion for heritage, evident in both his work, and in his dealings – this article was published in the SMH Heckler column:


Tony served for 50 years on Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel, and was presented with ‘a plaque of acknowledgement of service’ by Mayor Ross Williams at the Council Meeting on 19 April 2021.

Tony was on the committee of the Hunters Hill Trust for 21 years, serving 3 terms as President.
On his website he says ‘I see myself as both a facilitator and a collaborator in working with my clients’ and ‘I celebrate the fact that the needs and tastes of every client are different and that these differences will inform the building we plan together.’
That’s why, unlike the work of many ‘big name’ architects, you won’t easily notice Tony’s work in Hunters Hill. It is around us, but subtle, understated, and so simply appropriate to its setting

Vale Tony
2022-07-28T02:25:51+10:00July 28, 2022|
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