Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

threats posed by ‘State Significant Infrastructure’

HHT recently met with Anthony Roberts, Minister for Planning and Carolyn McNally, Secretary of NSW Planning and Environment to discuss concerns about unsympathetic development across Sydney, the draft Medium Density Housing Code as well as concerns about Gladesville Shopping Village and Windsor Bridge.  Detailed correspondence has followed that meeting (see below).

We now seek assurance that a declaration of ‘State Significant lnfrastructure’ will not be used to bulldoze inappropriate development through the Hunters Hill Municipality.  ‘Priority Growth Areas’, ‘Priority Precincts’ and ‘Urban Renewal Corridors’ now located all over Sydney are causing significant destruction of heritage, tree cover, amenity and consequent community stress.

We applaud the recently announced ‘Better Placed’ state-wide design policy to ‘ensure the delivery of high quality urban design and better places for people across NSW’ but design guides will not turn the tide of poor design, and development driven by profit that is rampaging across Sydney, unless there is a mandatory compliance requirement to a set of standards with community and civic outcomes at their core.

Image: Advertiser, SA National Trust

Sense of place is being obliterated through lack of protections for character, mature tree coverage and consideration of resources captured in existing buildings.

View the Trust’s powerpoint presentation to the Minister and Secretary in July.  Read the Trust’s follow up letter to Minister Roberts.  Read Ms McNally’s detailed response to HHT.   You can also see the Trust’s most recent letters to Ms McNally and to Minister Roberts.

2017-10-14T16:36:32+11:00September 4, 2017|

Gladesville Shopping Village: community still in the dark

need-to-knowMoch Developments submitted a proposal to the NSW Department of Planning on April 19th to amend the Local Environment Plan, to allow a series of massive high-rise towers at Gladesville Shopping Village, the highest being 58m – that’s one and a half times the height of the Gladesville Bridge.  Detailed plans have still not been provided

There are so many unanswered questions:

  • What will it mean for the people living in the streets around the site?
  • Which streets will be inundated with traffic and which will be permanently closed off?
  • Which houses will be affected by a massive shadow?
  • How many more houses will lose privacy in their backyards?
  • What new services and infrastructure (such as schools etc.) will be offered?
  • What will happen to the heritage listed cottage at 10 Cowell Street?
  • How does Council plan to protect residents from the effects of this massive insensitive over development?
2016-07-27T13:36:35+10:00July 12, 2016|

update on Gladesville mega development

Tony Coote, President of HHT urged Council to reject the Planning Proposal from the developers of the Gladesville Shopping Village site who wanted to amend the Local Environmental Plan to allow them to build up to 58m and increase the floor-space-ratio.  You can read Tony’s speech here.  All Councillors, apart from Peter Astridge, voted to reject the proposal.

Whats-Next2013The state government can approve the Planning Proposal without local council support, and we expect that the developers will apply to build higher than current local planning instruments allow.

From the plans exhibited, Moch Pty Ltd expects to build across the site where the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St stands as well as the at-grade open car-park further up Cowell Street and land on Massey Street.

Moch will take legal ownership of the timber cottage at 10 Cowell Street on 4th April, having been sold it by Hunters Hill Council.  This sale was not subject to any public consultation beforehand and there was no public or competitive tender for the sale. The sale happened before Council finally agreed to grant heritage protection to the cottage.  When Council eventually put the heritage listing into the Local Environmental Plan, the land around the cottage was excluded – despite no such limit being applied to any other heritage listing by Hunters Hill Council and no such limit to the listing in the motion approved by Council.

Information and regular updates available from Gladesville Community Group. 

2016-04-01T10:20:57+11:00March 30, 2016|

Gladesville Shopping Village at Council, 29th March

GSV view from south. Image: Robertson and Marks

GSV view from south west. Image: Robertson and Marks, Architects

Hunters Hill Council will consider the Planning Proposal from the owner of GSV who wants the Local Environmental Plan to be amended to allow them to build up to 58m (16 storeys), and increase the floor-space-ratio (FSR, which is a measure of bulk because it is the ratio of how much area a building can create, expressed as a multiple of the site footprint at ground level) from 2.3 and 2.7 at different points of the site, to 3.4 across the entire site.

The development site now includes the ‘at-grade’ car park at 4-6 Cowell St, and the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St, after the developer exercised its Option to acquire these properties from the public, settling 4th April 2016.


2016-04-01T10:16:17+11:00March 29, 2016|

Council’s sale of public assets

The Trust Executive Committee has sent the following OPEN LETTER to the Councillors of Hunters Hill….

cowell st soldDear Councillors,

It is with regret that The Trust has learned of the sale of properties owned by the people of Hunters Hill, including No 10 Cowell Street and the open-air carpark within the Gladesville Shopping Village (GSV) site.

According to Mayor Richard Quinn, the Call Option was exercised on 8 February 2016 and signed off by him and the general manager under delegated authority with a settlement date of 4 April 2016.  As far as we can tell, there has been no public announcement of this to date.

The finalisation of the sale means that Hunters Hill Council has formally signed away any leverage it might have had in the development of the GSV site.  The knowledge that this was on the cards from the beginning has led the developer to prepare a Planning Proposal that trashes the existing planning controls in the LEP and DCP.  The Proposal is for an entirely inappropriate development that consists of a clutch of very tall buildings that will have a seriously negative impact on the amenity of the neighbourhood in terms of increased traffic, parking problems, overshadowing and overlooking.

As The Trust has noted a number of times, Council has ignored its responsibility to look after its own heritage at 10 Cowell St.  It has procrastinated for over 10 years following the 2005 Davies report that recommended upgrading the listing of 10 Cowell St to Schedule 5 in the LEP.   To add insult to injury, when the listing was finalised, The Trust was shocked to discover that it excluded the curtilage of the property.  This is unique for a Schedule 5 property listing in Hunters Hill’s LEP.


2016-02-25T07:02:06+11:00February 23, 2016|

SOLD: publicly owned cottage & public carpark gone to developers

Cowell Street cottage

10 Cowell St

Hunters Hill Council has sold the publicly owned Cowell Street cottage (pictured) and the open carpark site at Gladesville Shopping Village to Moch Pty Ltd.  The Mayor, Richard Quinn, signed the sale documents 2 weeks ago, but we have only just heard about it.

Moch Pty Ltd wants the land as part of its massive over-development of the Gladesville Shopping Village (GSV) that is set to cause huge damage to the community.

The community is still waiting to see Moch Pty Ltd’s final plans, but it is clear the Local Environment Plan (LEP) has been ignored.  This diagram shows the building heights that are currently allowed under the LEP and how they are dwarfed by what Moch Pty Ltd indicated they wanted in October 2015.  

Tower B would be 101m high (16 stories above a 46m high podium – the equivalent of 26 stories) creating massive over-shadowing, traffic chaos and infrastructure problems.

The sale effectively removes Council’s last ability to take any control of the redevelopment of the site, as Moch Pty Ltd pursues approval with the NSW State Government via the Gateway Process. 


2016-02-22T16:28:42+11:00February 22, 2016|

sorry business: Council’s changes to Hunters Hill LEP

Cowell Street cottage

Cowell Street cottage

The Trust contacted the Hon Mark Speakman, Minister for Heritage and Minister for Environment to tell the sorry tale about how Council’s last minute changes to the Local Environment Plan allow the publicly owned, heritage listed building at 10 Cowell Street Gladesville to be relocated from its current site.

‘We feel that Council has misled the community.  We have come to believe that, as owner of the property at 10 Cowell Street, Council’s real interest is to ensure that the development of the Gladesville Shopping Village is not encumbered by any heritage listing on the lot.  This is because the land is more valuable if it can have umpteen units built on it.   In other words Council has a clear vested interest in removing the building from the development site.

The listing of the building without its curtilage is quite ingenuous as it is simply a nod to the developer to make a proposal to move it somewhere else, or, in a more likely scenario, to propose a full photographic survey of the property prior to its demolition.’

Read the full letter:   NSW Minister for Environment & Heritage.

2015-12-27T08:22:03+11:00December 27, 2015|

Why does the heritage listing of 10 Cowell Street exclude the land around it?

Cowell Street cottage

Cowell Street cottage

10 years after the Paul Davies report recommended heritage listing of 10 Cowell Street, the house has been listed but we are astounded to see that the land around it has been excluded.

The Trust and other community members have urged Council to list 10 Cowell Street, not just as a heritage item, but with its curtilage, as a way of mitigating the impact of the development of the Gladesville Shopping Village site.

The most recent scheme for the GSV site includes 4 massive towers.  Tower B would be 64m above Flagstaff Street (see below).

GSV heights

Heights of proposed GSV in red. Heights allowed by LEP in green



The business of the listing of 10 Cowell Street raises a number of doubts.

Council appears to have prevaricated on the listing and has failed to articulate its reasons for doing so.

The exclusion of the curtilage wasn’t passed as a resolution by Councillors, rather this wording was added later.

It appears that the main driver of Council’s dealings with the developers has been to maximise the sale price of Council owned public land, rather than to preserve Hunters Hill’s heritage and ensure the best possible development of the shopping area for the community.

The financial imperative to maximise the sale price of the property has never, as far as we can see, been publicly argued by Council.  Instead, Council appears to have been at pains to gloss over the issue and to keep its dealings with the developers secret (presumably with the excuse that such dealings are commercial in confidence).

The wording of the Schedule 5 listing now appears to leave the cottage at 10 Cowell St open to being removed and erected somewhere else as some sort of salve to those who wish to retain it.   We have always argued for the retention of the cottage in situ surrounded by its curtilage.





2017-09-03T11:45:59+10:00November 25, 2015|

Latest proposal for Gladesville shops: EVEN WORSE

The new plans for Gladesville Shopping Village will have EVEN GREATER ADVERSE IMPACT on the community than the scheme that was withdrawn last year after the community rejected it.  The latest scheme totally ignores the planning controls set down in the Hunters Hill Local Environment Plan 2012. Tower B would be 55 meters above the podium level – 39 meters higher than what is allowed.  The scheme:

  • increases overall heights and bulk
  • includes even more units
  • causes greater overshadowing and loss of privacy
  • creates even more traffic pressure
  • puts greater pressure on local schools and services
  • involves the demolition of a heritage listed house.

GSV heightsIt is hard to imagine a building 101 meters in height.  Based on the drawings on display recently, and allowing approximately 3 meters per floor, we have estimated the number of stories:

  • Podium     46m
  • Tower A    75m (7 stories above podium)
  • Tower A1  98m (15 stories above podium)
  • Tower B    101m (16 stories above podium)
  • Tower C    89m (10 stories above podium).

We urge Council to reject this scheme out of hand and also to reject any proposals from the developer to change the planning controls.

Read Hunters Hill Trust’s submission to Council in full.

2015-08-31T12:59:15+10:00August 30, 2015|

New plans for Gladesville Shopping Village

The current plans for the development of the Gladesville Shopping Village will be revealed at information sessions:

Overall  plans for the development

  • 6-8pm Thursday 13th August, at the old Betta Electrical shop, opposite Coles
  • 6-8pm Monday 17th August, at the old Betta Electrical shop, opposite Coles.

homebush-west-cars-parked-xst Plans to manage the extra traffic

  •  6-7pm and 7:30-8:30pm Friday 14th August
  •  Fairland Hall,  Church Street Hunters Hill
  •  6-7pm and 7:30-8:30pm Tuesday 18th August
  •  Gladesville Library, Pittwater Road, Gladesville.


Attend a session.   Ask questions.

Is this the  best way forward for Gladesville and Hunters Hill?

2015-08-16T19:00:14+10:00August 12, 2015|
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