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See also the post: Appropriate Heritage Development
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Vincent Crow, outside 4 Northcote St which is one of the houses earmarked for demolition for WestConnex.
Vincent Crow, outside 4 Northcote St which is one of the houses earmarked for demolition for WestConnex.

==
  • Historian and Federation Heritage advocate Vincent Crow
Inner WestHaberfield residents launch project to document heritage houses before their demolition for WestConnex motorway
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Deborah FitzGerald, Inner West Courier Inner West: May 5, 2016 2:23pmexternal image index&t_product=DailyTelegraph&td_noGallery=true&td_device=desktop SIXTY houses in Haberfield are to be demolished to make way for the WestConnex motorway as heartbroken residents scramble to document the history of the area before it disappears.
  • The Haberfield Association is recording Haberfield’s heritage for posterity by photographing all houses that are to be demolished as a reminder of suburb’s lost heritage.
  • Due to open to traffic in 2019, the M4 East will extend the existing M4 Motorway from Homebush to Haberfield.
  • President Vincent Crow said the project was a labour of love before Haberfield was irrevocably changed forever.
  • “We have opposed construction of the WestConnex due to its adverse impacts on the environment, air quality and local traffic as well as its destruction of over 60 houses in the Haberfield Heritage Conservation Area,” he said.
A house at 35 Wattle St, Haberfield, was built in 1916 and is set to be demolished.
A house at 35 Wattle St, Haberfield, was built in 1916 and is set to be demolished.
The association employed heritage photographer, Russell Workman, who photographed the dwellings to be demolished.
  • The photos will be held by the association and will be an addition to the Snape Collection of Haberfield, photos taken about 1911.
  • Mr Crow said residents found it difficult to accept the destruction especially when the State Government’s own environmental impact study indicated the motorway would be at capacity by 2031.
  • “It would be one thing if there was going to be a permanent benefit to the community but this will be a short-term fix and our heritage and our neighbourhood has been sacrificed.”
  • “I don’t like to drive along there (past the houses) knowing they will soon be pulled down.”
Laurestine at 33 Wattle Street was built in 1906.
Laurestine at 33 Wattle Street was built in 1906.

Mr Crow has written to WestConnex asking that six houses in Wolseley St and Northcote St be dismantled and rebuilt after the construction site is repatriated.
  • A spokeswoman for Sydney Motorway Corporation said an independent heritage consultant is overseeing the identification and safe removal of items and material of heritage value, in accordance with conditions of approval for the M4 East.
  • “This involves the careful dismantling and removal of heritage features by hand and securely storing them in weatherproof locations.
  • “There are no plans to rebuild homes with kept materials, however Sydney Motorway Corporation will work in close collaboration with local councils to determine the best way to use the heritage items.”
  • Read more: Daily Telegraph


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The historic ‘Forres’ in Kew’s Sackville Ward is being demolished. Picture: Jay Town

VIC

Historic $9.6m Kew mansion demolished after failing to gain heritage protection external image index&t_product=HeraldSun&td_noGallery=true&td_device=desktop

SAMANTHA LANDY, Property reporter, News Corp Australia NetworkJuly 27, 2016 3:45pm
Read the whole story at the Herald-Sun here:
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A CENTURY-old $9.6 million Kew mansion that was twice denied heritage protection is being torn down.
Demolition started today on ‘Forres’ at 9-11 Edward St, in the exclusive Sackville Ward, prompting local history buffs and the suburb’s MP to mourn the loss of another “grand home” in the leafy eastern postcode.
The owner of the Federation-style home — who purchased it from former Hawthorn Football Club president Andrew Newbold — was given permission by the City of Boroondara last year to knock it down.
external image 69bec8fa8b1f8de1813d344d2d7baae1?width=650
9-11 Edward St before it was demolished ...external image dcdae348e0f30f57efc8997d0e8b2d9c?width=650... and during the knock down. Picture: Jay Town
The man shelled out $9.6 million for showpiece home and its large 2700sq m corner block in December, 2014.

  • The house, which was heavily renovated by the Newbolds, was advertised to potential buyers at the time as containing “no heritage overlay”.
An excavator smashed through its terracotta tiled roof and tore open its picturesque red brick facade today, with the demolition crew expecting the knock down job to “take a couple of days”.
  • Boroondara council city planning director John Luppino said it was not yet known what would replace the house, with a planning application yet to be lodged for a new build on the site.
Heritage consultants engaged by the council in 2005 deemed the five-bedroom home unsuitable for individual local heritage protection due to “extensive alterations and additions”.
  • That assessment was reviewed and upheld when the council received the application for demolition in June last year.
  • Kew Liberal MP Tim Smith lodged a last-ditch attempt to save the house on behalf of local residents late last year, applying to Heritage Victoria to have it protected. But his application was denied.
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The home was built in 1914-15, but neither Boroondara council or Heritage Victoria believed it met criteria for heritage protection.external image 12107064c0e5bbbfd103f8234e821619?width=650
  • The house was previously owned by former Hawthorn Football Club president Andrew Newbold.
Mr Smith’s submission described the house as “unique mixture of Australian Edwardian bungalow with Chinese architectural influence”.

  • It argued the building was “of great significance to the area” as one of the few remaining residences of its type designed by noted architect Arthur W. Purnell.
  • Mr Smith said today that demolition was “a real tragedy”.

  • Heritage Victoria executive director Tim Smith’s report stated that Forres was “a good and typical example of a large residence designed in a transitional Federation Queen Anne and Bungalow style, but does not possess the qualities, significance or rarity that elevate the building to a threshold of State significance”.
  • The report states that the house was built in 1914-15 and owned by Edward Laycock of the prominent Laycock wool family from 1919 to the late 1950s.
  • Kew Historical Society secretary Brad Miles said the group was saddened to see “another magnificent house” destroyed in the suburb.
“There are too many perfectly good homes being demolished in Kew, and this was a fine home in excellent condition,” Mr Miles said.
“These grand Federation homes are part of what makes Kew attractive to its residents, and people who aspire to live here.”
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The Kew Historical Society was disappointed to hear of its destruction.Read more at the Herald-Sun:

What is happening to Tasmanian Heritage?

Tasmanian Heritage - mass deletions from the Tasmanian Heritage Register

Resigning senior heritage officer Mr Scott called for the delisting project to be terminated - see transcribed letter below;

DELISTING LAUNCESTON HERITAGE .... WHY?



external image BALFOURheritage.jpg
Click here to access this article online
JAMES BRADY'S TEXT: THE proposed de-listing of 44 Balfour Street properties from the Tasmanian Heritage Register has been questioned by a Launceston architect. .........Lionel Morrell said he was a member of the National Trust classification and building advisory committee when the street, including the advertised properties, were listed on the register. ......... Mr Morrell said, at the time, the process was considered to be the most extensive classification process ever undertaken by the committee for the National Trust. ......... A letter detailing the study was sent to Tasmanian Heritage Council chairwoman Brett Torossi, Heritage Minister Matthew Groom and Treasurer Peter Gutwein. ........."The process included research of valuation rolls and other archive material to establish a detailed history of each place, builders, architects and inhabitants," Mr Morrell wrote. ......... "From surveys of the street, and photographs, architectural descriptions were prepared, formulating a statement of significance. ......... "All owners and occupants were contacted formally by letter prior to the conclusion of the research, and none of the owners objected to the entry of their property on the National Trust's Register and nomination to the Launceston City Council's Heritage List." ......... Ms Torossi said she had access to the reports. ......... "A wide range of relevant records available to the Heritage Council were considered as part of the recent assessments of entries on the Tasmanian Heritage Register," Ms Torossi said. ......... "The 'intention to remove' process is designed to provide affected property owners and the public with the opportunity to furnish any additional information that they think will assist the Heritage Council to make informed decisions. ......... "The Tasmanian Heritage Council is completing its consultation with the Launceston community and at the same time has begun the process with affected property owners in Hobart." .........

FURTHER COMMENT FROM LIONELL MORRELL ......... All Launceston properties that have been entered on the statutory Planning Scheme heritage list were subject to a public advertising and objection process. When the Tasmanian Parliament created the legislation for the Tasmanian Heritage Council and hence the Tasmanian Heritage Register, it was Parliament who made it law to automatically move over all listings in Launceston and Hobart, as well as places listed on the National Trust Register, to the Tasmanian Heritage Register. This was a very public process. In the case of Balfour St, additional work was done, so why is the THC now trying to undo this thorough process?......... The issue of house insurance is a matter for the Australian Insurance Council, and you may be surprised to learn that another of their whacky conditions applied to housing insurance, voids cover on all buildings over 100 years old unless noted and agreed. Who has ticked that box on their application/renewal form? This has nothing to do with heritage listings and in Launceston, of the 30,000 buildings in the city, only a small percentage are heritage listed, but a large number are over 100 years old. With Launceston founded over 200 years ago, it is obviously an old city, but why is it potentially denied insurance cover. Just because you have paid an insurance premium doesn't mean your building is covered.

Review of (1771) Tasmanian heritage-listed properties leaves 150 properties on register

October 15, 2015 11:48am
Mercury
external image 1f63956da03f0587858ceb7eeba56482?width=650Tasmanian Heritage Council chair Brett Torossi. Picture LEIGH WINBURN

A REVIEW of more than 1770 heritage-listed properties around Tasmania has determined only 150 will remain on the register as the State Government-initiated cull speeds up.

The Government set a target in its first Budget to reduce the 5000 ­entries on the Tasmanian Heritage Register by up to 30 per cent.

So far, the review of 1771 properties has determined that 777 do not meet the criteria and the Tasmanian Heritage Council will start a process to remove them from the list.

The Heritage Council said another 674 properties would be investigated before a decision to delist was made.

A decision cannot be made on a further 168 properties because they are not listed on a local planning scheme. They will stay on the register while the Heritage Council discusses with local councils whether they can be protected through those schemes.
Owners of properties that the Heritage Council deems do not fit the bill will be notified soon before public notices are placed in Tasmanian newspapers and a 60-day period for objections or submissions begins.

1. Greens criticise removal of 800 properties from Tasmanian Heritage Register

By Richard Baines and Michael Dalla Fontana
Posted 14 Oct 2015, 7:50am

A heritage cottage in Hobart.
A heritage cottage in Hobart.
**PHOTO:** The Tasmanian Greens leader says the Heritage Register protects the state's "priceless" European cultural heritage. (ABC News)
**RELATED STORY:** Heritage Tasmania expert resigns blaming political interference
**RELATED STORY:** Property owners notified of possible Heritage Council delisting
**MAP:** TAS


The Tasmanian Heritage Council says it is intending to remove about 800 properties from its register, but the state Greens have slammed the move, describing Tasmania as "the heritage capital of Australia".
  • More than a year after 1,600 Tasmanian heritage properties were slated for de-listing, none have been taken off the register.
  • The Tasmanian Government wants the list of more than 5,000 heritage properties reduced by about a third.
The chair of the Heritage Council, Brett Torossi, said of the 1,771 properties across Tasmania reviewed so far, 150 would remain on the register.
"We have 674 of those properties which we have determined we need to do some more research ourselves before we proceed any further," he said.
"We have about 777 that we can't find any evidence and we're going through that process of intention to remove."
  • Late on Tuesday, the Heritage Council revealed no properties had yet been taken off the register, and the public objection period had doubled to 60 days.

Greens leader Cassy O'Connor told Parliament she was not impressed.
  • "We are talking about Tasmania's priceless European cultural heritage," she said.
  • "We are the heritage capital of Australia, it is an asset of enormous value."

Mr Torossi said the process of determining a property's heritage value was fair.
"The most important thing is that nothing that at least meets one of the criteria will be removed from the Heritage Register," he said.
"If they meet the criteria, they stay."

2. Tasmania's Heritage Council notifies owners of properties that may be removed from register

By Selina Bryan
Posted 28 Apr 2015, 7:13pm

**MAP:** TAS

Tasmania's Heritage Council has started notifying owners of properties that may be taken off the register.
The Heritage Council has been reviewing all entries on its register in a process the State Government has described as "improving the list's integrity".
  • So far 133 entries have been identified as potentially not having enough evidence to meet the necessary criteria to remain registered.

Heritage Minister Matthew Groom said the first tranche of notices to owners would be issued this week.
"Then, in accordance with the Act, that notification will be followed by public notices and the opportunity for public submissions," he said.
  • "I would encourage any person with information regarding a place proposed for removal to make a submission."

Letters were posted to Launceston owners on Monday.
The Chair of the Heritage Council, Brett Torossi, said a broad review had already been done.
"That gave us an indication of what kind of shape the heritage register was in," she said.
"And now this part of it is going through the time-consuming and complicated detailed work of really having a look at all the texts, historical records, photographs for each of our listings and seeing what evidence we have."

3. Heritage Tasmania expert David Scott resigns blaming political interference

Updated 23 Jun 2015, 5:20pm

Heritage-listed building in Tasmania.
Heritage-listed building in Tasmania.
**PHOTO:** Concerns over the operations and future of Heritage Tasmania has prompted David Scott's resignation.
**RELATED STORY:** Sheep shelters added to heritage register
**RELATED STORY:** Hobart's Victoria Gunpowder Magazine to be handed over to local council
**RELATED STORY:** Dry stone walls should be heritage listed, organisation says
**MAP:** TAS


A senior heritage bureaucrat hired to manage the removal of a third of properties from Tasmania's heritage list has blamed political interference for his decision to quit.
David Scott has resigned from his role at Heritage Tasmania, partway through a review of the heritage register designed to identify 1,650 properties for removal.
In his scathing resignation letter, obtained by the ABC, Mr Scott painted a damning picture of the organisation.
  • "I perceive that in the last 12 months political and personal motives have begun to dominate governance of the organisation; while concepts of open communication, accountability and transparency have all but disappeared," he wrote in the letter dated June 16.
Mr Scott called for the delisting project to be terminated, describing the State Government target to purge 1,650 properties as ''simply unachievable''.
  • While he said the initial properties earmarked for removal this year, including 133 in Launceston, were of very low significance, Mr Scott warned future rounds would have to target properties with significant heritage value to achieve the Government's target.
  • "I was informed that the next round would look at the graded 2 places then the graded 3 if necessary until 1,650 places were removed," he wrote.
  • "This internal obsession with removal numbers is counter to the process being based upon significance, having rigour and being in accordance with good heritage management practice."

Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor said Mr Scott's departure showed the project had gone off the rails.
  • "We've got allegations here of poor heritage outcomes, poor governance, of staff being told they're effectively expendable, political and personal motives getting in the way of the process," she said.

Heritage Minister Matthew Groom declined to be interviewed.
  • Responding to a question about Mr Scott's resignation, Mr Groom told Parliament last week he would not comment on people's personal circumstances.
He said he stood by the importance of the project to shrink the heritage register.
  • "This is about ensuring the integrity of the heritage register to ensure that we are in a position to apply resources in the most efficient way when it comes to the protection and management of heritage in Tasmania," Mr Groom said.



This is a transcription from an embedded document
1David Scott
PO Box 485
North Hobart TAS 7000
16 June 2015

The Deputy Secretary Corporate, Heritage and Land Department of Primary Industries, Water, Parks and the Environment
CC: General Manager, Cultural & Natural Heritage Division
Director, Heritage Tasmania
Members of the Tasmanian Heritage Council
Staff of Heritage Tasmania

Dear Sir
I hereby tender my resignation from the State Service, effective of COB 9 July 2015.

27 years of experience in heritage management – indigenous, natural and historic – and 19 years senior experience in the public sector including positions managing the ACT Heritage Unit and as deputy manager to the much larger entity of Heritage Victoria, leads me to conclude that my ongoing tenure at Heritage Tasmania is untenable because this organisation has ‘lost its way’ as the state heritage agency.

The strategic direction of the organisation - distinct from operational practise and implementation -appears to no longer consider leadership in heritage management across Tasmania and the delivery of high standards of cultural heritage management, project governance or even public administration as worthwhile business considerations.
After years of working in an environment of industrial democracy with strong support for my team and self, I perceive that in the last 12 months political and personal motives have begun to dominate governance of the organisation; while concepts of open communication, accountability and transparency have all but disappeared.

I have never experienced an organisation in which individual leaders have strived to avoid accountability for initiatives they instigated and shift blame upon other parties – be it the Secretariat for having to undertake the project, or the staff for implementation issues. This behaviour has not gone unnoticed by the staff, some of which have also been told they are effectively expendable – that anyone who cannot keep up with delivery of the initiative may need to consider leaving HT.

When I advised there were a number of staff at risk of health problems and workers compensation claims due to the excessive workload, which in any other organisation would be considered matters I must escalate to my supervisor, I was simply told it was my responsibility to manage the needs and well being of staff. I have sought repeatedly at Team Leader or other meetings to escalate matters of concern in terms of poor heritage outcomes, poor governance and high risks/threats, only to have them summarily dismissed by the Director.

I strongly doubt whether any of these matters were ever passed on to the Secretariat and I have been constrained in discussing matters of THC-relevance with the THC Chair because all meetings with the Chair are controlled by the Director.

I wish to make it clear the focus of my concerns relate primarily to the areas of HT/DPIPWE governance. Whilst I have my suspicions it is difficult to separate accountabilities between various parties due to the way information has been communicated or not communicated. I am not seeking to level any concerns at the new divisional head and THC Chair, nor the operational management and staff of HT.

2
I offer the following explanation of my three key concerns and some suggestions for action.

Strategic Concerns

The three strategic matters of greatest concern to me are:

(i) The Tasmanian Heritage Register Integrity Project.

As coordinator of the significance review I have done all I can to implement this project to the project plan with its ‘almost-impossible’ schedule, however I have never – not during the project or the ~5 preceding years where the Director was continuously proposing it should be done - supported the principle of removing large numbers of places from the THR prior to there being a practical model for managing local heritage and some form of consensus with stakeholders.

Many heritage practitioners including myself agree that in the ideal world, the register should be an inventory of places of state heritage significance, and local government should manage local heritage –as per the COAG agreement. However most Tasmanian councils are 1/5 to 1/10 the size of their mainland counterparts, so until some major resource-sharing initiatives between the smaller local councils exist or there is a resource sharing arrangement between smaller councils and HT/state government the above ideal is not achievable in Tasmania and some form of alternative needs to be found.

I believe the intent of COAG was for state governments to develop a holistic framework for managingall heritage within their jurisdictions, define roles for state and local organisations that were achievable and avoided duplication. The intent was not for state heritage agencies to take a self-serving approachof minimising their resource burden by purging the state register without considering the consequences for local councils or the places, and ignoring the reality that the community expects the state government to lead the way in defining a holistic framework for managing heritage at all level sand does not expect heritage to be placed at risk for administrative convenience.

Aside from a dubious interpretation of the COAG agreement my greatest concern with this project is the perceived inconsistency between the Minister’s clearly stated directive to the THC that having a rigorous and defensible process was of paramount importance not the number of places to be removed, versus the agencies position (as stated by the Director) that 1650 places must be removed and the process will continue for several years as HT’s #1 priority.

Ultimately, I believe the places recommended in the 2015 round for removal are of very low significance so the potential impact upon Tasmania’s heritage in removing them should be minimal. To mitigate any further impact, there is an opportunity for the Minister and agency to extract itself from the project at the end of the current round, whereby the Minister can successfully announce a rigorous process has completed which affected a compromise of half the places being removed and half being retained based upon their significance. This opportunity was raised within HT but summarily dismissed, as it did not fit the agency agenda and I was informed that the next round would look at the graded 2 places then the graded 3 if necessary until 1650 places were removed.

This internal obsession with removal numbers is counter to the process being based upon significance, having rigour and being in accordance with good heritage management practice. Nor is there likely to exist a single heritage practitioner within the state that will support grade 2 removals at the present time. In addition, I have repeatedly advised that in the current environment 1650 removals is simply unachievable – that assessing the grade 2 places will take far more effort than the grade 1 reviews, and considering the conservative/cautious approach taken by the THC in considering the grade 1 places I estimated a review of the more-significant grade 2 places would not result in more than 50 removals.
To seek to remove grade 2 places at the current time makes no business sense – there is nil heritage benefit and little other administrative or political benefit, it will impact Tasmania’s heritage to some degree, and it will certainly impact the public credibility of the Minister, the THC and the agency in managing heritage.
If the integrity review and removals continue into 2016 then the project will cease to be a question about the credibility of the THR and will – to all stakeholders and the public - become a question of the credibility of the participants.


A final point on meeting the need for process rigour in the Integrity Project.
I developed a professional methodology to help review significance, which has evolved through practical experience from the assessors and addressing the emerging concerns from the Registration Committee. Ultimately every place has gone through the rigour of being assessed by a heritage professional, QA’d by a heritage professional, reviewed by a subcommittee and reviewed and decided upon by the full THC. I fail tounderstand by what basis it was then considered appropriate for the Director HT to review and modify the final THC statutory decisions. He has no legal authority to do so; even as delegate one cannot override decisions of a peak body, and for me such an adhoc last-minute review act makes a mockery of the application of professional rigour and due process.

(ii) Over delegation of statutory powers.

I have always supported the appropriate delegation of statutorypowers to improve business delivery and I believe the delegations introduced last year to expedite anumber of works approval matters have already reaped positive benefits for customers.

Recently, I was shown proposals for expanding delegations which left just one THC statutory decision-making responsibility outside of HT control. I raised very strong ethical concerns over this – which I consider not to be driven by business need but by a desire to limit the powers and change the role of the THC in a non-transparent manner.

I have worked in Heritage Victoria, where the Director has most of the statutory powers and believe that is a workable arrangement when (i) the Director is clearly identified in the legislation as the decision-maker for specific actions, and (ii) the Director has public credibility in heritage management by being a senior heritage practitioner (albeit one with public admin experience and political nous).

In Tasmania, where the legislation sets the community expectation as the THC being the decision-maker independent from any government official, it is ethically inappropriate to transfer the majority of statutory powers to a government official – especially without community notification/input.

(iii) Power struggles and personality conflicts between THC & HT.

Over 10 years I have witnessed the relationship between each successive THC Chair and the Director HT turn bitter due to personality issues and uncertainty or roles and responsibilities, and witnessed THC members play for control of HT resources and the HT Director play for greater control of THC business.

There is clearly a systemic failure of the functions and powers of each body, and the inability to work as a single team distracts the focus of both from delivering good heritage outcomes. For the staff, who are obliged to be to impartial and duly provide for two masters because that’s in the best business interest, it impacts productivity and enjoyment of the workplace.

Suggestions

Hence, as the departing senior heritage practitioner in the state service, I provide the following suggestions to the agency (in order of priority):
===1. Terminate the Integrity Project at conclusion of the grade 1 review this year ===
– so as to minimise the impact on Tasmania’s heritage and preserve the credibility of the Minister, THC and agency. Future removals are not impossible but should be predicated on there being a workable framework for managing local heritage, and some positive new additions having been made to the THR to demonstrate the intent of government to improve the THR rather than just dismantle it.
===2. Relocate HT to a physical location integral to the remainder of the division. ===
This is critical to overcoming professional and personal isolation of HT staff by allowing informal interactions and (potentially) even joint projects with other CNH staff, and opening up communication between staff and the departmental and divisional executive (avoiding the inconvenience and reliance on the Director for this).
===3. Review the respective roles, decision-making powers and resourcing of the THC and HT ===
to avoid duplication and avoid future internal power games and conflicts. Some of this may be addressed through processes/systems and some may require legislative change.
In particular:* measures must be put in place to ensure that the development of strategic heritage initiatives and any heritage-related HT business plan initiatives are always a collaborative effort between the THC and HT (and Minister as appropriate), not a competition.
  • a strategic approach to statutory delegations needs to be formulated and all current delegations should be reviewed. The community needs to be notified of which statutory decisions allocated to the THC will be undertaken under delegation (even if only on the web site) and if the intent is for a government official is to take over most of the THC statutory decisions then that should be made clear in the legislation and the serious consideration needs to be given to whether that person must have a professional heritage qualification.

4. Review the structure of HT

– team structures and positions/duties, salary levels and problems with the professional stream, senior officer roles and locations, to ensure business needs are to be met.
===5. Consider preparing a concise ‘strategic plan’ for heritage management in Tasmania, ===
which could be a few web pages and not more than a double-sided A3, to communicate to the public:
  • An explanation of the differing levels/types of heritage that exist in Tasmania - state heritage v local heritage v community organisations v national/world -and the government’s intention for how each are/will be managed including where statutory delegations exist or may exist.
  • Summarise proposed business initiatives (projects & programmes) for the coming year(s), ideally a 3-year vision This plan should be a collaborative effort between the THC, HT and Minister – potentially even provide a reasonable basis for the Ministers Letter of Expectation – and would ideally be put out every 3 years and reviewed annually.
Because of the arbitrary dismissal of so many of my concerns over the last year, for the sake of ensuring appropriate standards of governance are achieved within the organisation I feel compelled to circulate my letter of resignation to the THC and HT – all of whom have a stake in the governance of this organisation. I apologise for any awkwardness this may cause, however I believe the agency needs to provide a reasonable demonstration to these parties that it is considering and addressing the issues facing HT at the present time, and not just my concerns. I understand a ‘systems review’ is commencing and this may provide a vehicle to consider such matters. One day I look forward to once again contributing to the management of Tasmania’s heritage, and I wish the agency and the THC all the best in its heritage management enterprise.

Yours sincerely
David Scott
Registration Manager
HERITAGE TASMANIA




Toorak residents furious as developer begins demolition of $18.5m mansion


external image Emily-Power-headshot-150x150.jpgOct 21, 2015 Emily Power Prestige reporter
==


$18.5 million mansion destroyed A historic mansion is torn down in Toorak. Video by Emily Power and Kirsten Robb.==

Toorak residents are furious that the owner of a landmark local mansion has begun tearing down the house after a failed heritage protection bid.
The front portion of Idylwilde at 16 St Georges Road, sold to Xiaoyan “Kylie” Bao for $18.5 million in September 2013, has been ripped open, with the ornate interior of the property exposed to the street.
16 St Georges Road, Toorak
16 St Georges Road, Toorak

  • Built in 1913, the Queen Anne-style estate was marketed for sale as a “home for the generations” and “a rare and beautiful piece of Australian real estate”, but it took Ms Bao just two months to apply to council for a permit to knock it down.
  • The move prompted the City of Stonnington to apply last year to then-planning minister Matthew Guy for interim heritage controls, with the support of Toorak residents.
  • The property, while much loved by locals and iconic to the suburb, was deemed to not be of “sufficient architectural significance” for Mr Guy to step in and grant heritage protection.
The shell of the Queen Anne home with work equipment left idle.
The shell of the Queen Anne home with work equipment left idle.

Photo: Eddie Jim
The minister rejected a bid by council in May last year based on advice from Heritage Victoria, the planning department said in a statement.
An application to both Heritage Victoria and the Heritage Council, temporarily halted demolition works but was also declined.
Stonnington mayor Melina Sehr said that under the law, the council could not refuse the homeowner’s consent for demolition.
Crews tear down the 102-year-old mansion.
Crews tear down the 102-year-old mansion.

Photo: Eddie Jim
  • “Council works hard to ensure that the heritage of Stonnington is protected,” Cr Sehr said.
  • “Council is disappointed that Heritage Victoria and the (then) Minister did not see fit to protect this property.”
  • Ms Bao is the wife of Chinese billionaire-turned-Australian investor Wang Hua and is herself the owner of the Heritage Golf and Country Club in Chirnside Park, which The Age reported in March she took control of in a separation arrangement with her husband.
Eddie Young, Toorak Residents Action Group president, says locals are upset at the demolition.
Eddie Young, Toorak Residents Action Group president, says locals are upset at the demolition.

.Photo: Eddie Jim
  • An excavator, surrounded by rubble of bricks and wooden beams, continued to raze the home, ripping down the roof on Wednesday as distressed locals watched on.
  • An irate neighbour – who did not wish to be identified – attempted to stop the works, approaching the site manager to complain.
  • A motorist slowed her car to scream “it’s a f—ing disgrace” as she drove past the wreckage on one of Melbourne’s most exclusive streets.
Demolished: 16 St Georges Road.
Demolished: 16 St Georges Road.

Photo: Eddie Jim
Toorak resident Dr Ann Singer was visibly shaken as she paused to watch the excavator gouge the old home.
  • Dr Singer described the property as a “real treasure” of Toorak.
  • “And to just come out one day and see it knocked down is tragic, just absolutely tragic,” she said.
  • “They don’t care … they just wipe out a home that was absolutely beautiful. Why is this house being destroyed? We have lived in this area for 30 years and to see this is absolutely stunning, just heartbreaking.”

Eddie Young, president of Toorak Village Residents Action Group, said Idylwilde was a standout home on the street.
  • “It is not a historically valuable home, but is aesthetically a wonderful-looking home that is similar to those of which we would like to retain in Toorak,” he said.
  • “To see it go down is disappointing.
  • “The main concern, from my members, some of whom are St Georges Road residents, is that you often find – and it is subjective – that grotesque buildings take their place.

“New zoning to a large extent has prevented the building of the sort of monoliths we have seen in the past, but there is no restriction on design.
  • “There will be angst when anything like this happens, because it has been happening. You only have to look around St Georges Road, and if you know the history of what has gone down, this is just another one.”
  • Local homeowner Helen Elsworth, who has lived in neighbouring Orrong Road for 30 years, said the demolition was “shocking” and the home’s former owners would be devastated.

“I thought it was the most beautiful house I had ever seen,” Ms Elsworth said.
  • She said fellow residents were concerned that apartments will be built in its place.
  • Ms Elsworth said locals were saddened when the former Baillieu family estate at 39 St Georges Road was demolished by property developer Harry Stamoulis, who has gone on to build one of Australia’s most expensive and elaborate mansions on the site.
  • Stonnington Council confirmed no recent planning applications have been lodged by Ms Bao, who will not need a permit to construct a single dwelling.


Red-faced Stonnington Council too late to heritage list demolished Toorak house


  • HARRISON TIPPET, STONNINGTON LEADER, JULY 01, 2014 12:00AM

STONNINGTON Council has abandoned a heritage protection plan for a historic Toorak property because it has already been torn down.
The bid to seek a heritage listing for 24 Grange Rd, Toorak, was thrown out at last Monday’s council meeting after a councillor discovered that the building had already been demolished.
North Ward councillor Matthew Koce told the meeting he saw the house had been reduced to rubble as he drove past that morning.

external image 536243-ee73bcd8-fbfe-11e3-b965-deb7739b4b59.jpg
external image 533213-64ba37bc-fc24-11e3-8cc4-c8f5cb031907.jpg
24 Grange Rd, Toorak, before it was torn down.
And all that remains of the house now. Picture: Ellen Smith

Sotheby’s Toorak real estate agent Greg Herman said the three-bedroom, 2653 sq m property was sold in April for an undisclosed amount, which he estimated to be about $6 million.
Jellis Craig’s Nathan Waterson, one of the selling agents, did not disclose the sale price, nor what would be built on the site.
DOES THE COUNCIL NEED TO MOVE MORE QUICKLY WITH HERITAGE APPLICATIONS? TELL US BELOW
It was not the first time the council had considered protecting the property, having recommended a heritage listing as far back as 2000 only to abandon the proposal the same year. Mr Herman said it was unfair of the council to try and revisit heritage protection of a property recently sold.
“It’s not right that after a property is sold they go back and try to put a heritage overlay over it,” Mr Herman said.
“It just doesn’t seem commercially reasonable, given they’ve had years to look at these properties,” he said.
Stonnington Mayor Adrian Stubbs said the council was upset it was not able to protect the property in time.
Cr Melina Sehr said the council would need to speed up future heritage protection applications and revisit properties it hoped to have included on the register.
Cr Koce said the protection of properties which had become more significant because of other historic buildings being demolished also needed to be considered.
“What previously may not have been considered worthy of heritage protection may be today, because we have lost many of our beautiful old buildings.”


No fancy extensions, City of Sydney tells new Millers Point buyers

Date October 27, 2014; Nicole Hasham State Politics reporter
external image Article%20Lead%20-%20wide6261238310g92ximage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.11a00v.png1414332992518.jpg-620x349.jpgOver expectations: This house at 29 Lower Fort Street raised the bar when it sold for $2.56 million.

Table of Contents

Buyers of former public housing properties at Millers Point would be barred from adding new rooms or extra storeys under changes proposed by the City of Sydney to protect the heritage-listed homes.
  • The proposal could severely hamper the renovation plans of new residents of the soon-to-be exclusive suburb, slash sale prices and lower the return to government from the controversial public housing sell off.
  • It comes amid figures released last week showing more than 59,000 NSW households were waiting for social housing in June, a 3.6 per cent jump on last year. The government says proceeds from the Millers Point sales will help alleviate the waiting list.
Opposed the plan: Clover Moore. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Opposed the plan: Clover Moore. Photo: Brendan Esposito

The government intends to sell more than 200 historic homes at Millers Point, relocating public housing tenants. Six homes have been sold so far, netting the government more than $15 million.
  • Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has vehemently opposed the plan. A proposal to go before a council committee this week would limit buildings at Millers Point to their existing size.
  • The present controls – which were largely untested while the buildings were in public hands – allow nine-metre tall buildings and a 2-to-1 "floor-space ratio", which means a building's floor space can be double the size of the block of land.
  • A council report said those rules would allow expansions between 30 and 110 square metres, equating to an extra bedroom or additional storey, which "will have a significant impact on … the integrity of the conservation area and heritage items".
  • Under the proposal, minor height and floor space increases may be considered, but they must be consistent with conservation plans for each property.
The NSW Heritage Council had asked the City of Sydney to urgently review the controls, saying home buyers were likely to "seek to maximise … development potential" and development constraints "should be reflected in the market value of the properties".
Real Estate Institute of NSW president Malcolm Gunning said the change would drive down sale prices.
  • "People have bought [the homes] with the idea of being able to do more with it," he said.
  • "[The proposal] will affect the price because, in their current form they are probably not worth the money [being] paid".
  • Mr Gunning said reducing the allowable floor space by 30 square metres could knock more than $350,000 off the value of a property.
The proposal puts the council on a collision course with Planning Minister Pru Goward, who orchestrated the controversial sell-off in her previous portfolio and must sign off on the council's plan before it goes on public exhibition.
Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton and Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet would not comment. In a statement, Government Property NSW said it was unaware of the proposed changes, which it said may require planning department approval.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/no-fancy-extensions-city-of-sydney-tells-new-millers-point-buyers-20141026-11a00v.html#ixzz3HJ2MgDSR

Planning Minister Matthew Guy's backflip to save Gough Whitlam childhood home

Mark Hawthorne, Clay Lucas and Nadia Wu October 23, 2014

Demolition begins at Ngara, the Kew childhood home of Gough Whitlam.
Demolition begins at Ngara, the Kew childhood home of Gough Whitlam.


Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy has stopped the destruction of Gough Whitlam's birthplace in the Melbourne suburb of Kew, despite on Wednesday claiming he could not intervene because a demolition order had already been granted by the local council.
Mr Guy on Thursday said he had applied for an interim protection order on the former prime minister's family home in Kew.
  • "Yesterday I applied for an Interim Protection Order, under the Heritage Act, for the birthplace of Gough Whitlam," Mr Guy said. "I am advised that the Heritage Council has today made an Interim Protection Order."
Mr Guy said Mr Whitlam was "widely acknowledged to be one of the most significant Australian political leaders of the 20th century".
  • "As his birthplace, it is likely that the cultural significance of this house will become recognised more strongly as time passes," he said.
  • The interim protection order would be issued while the nomination of the house to the Heritage Register proceeded, Mr Guy said, to allow "for a fresh consideration of its cultural significance given Prime Minister Whitlam's recent passing".
Read more: http://m.smh.com.au/victoria/planning-minister-matthew-guys-backflip-to-save-gough-whitlam-childhood-home-20141023-11acma.html


Whitlam's childhood home could be knocked down in days

Date October 21, 2014 - 5:20PM
Gough Whitlam's childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne
Gough Whitlam's childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne


The childhood home of former prime minister Gough Whitlam could be demolished within days to make way for a "McMansion" after a heritage protection for the century-old property was refused by the state gover
nment and Heritage Victoria.

  • Boroondara Council and concerned residents have lobbied Premier Denis Napthine and Planning Minister Matthew Guy to save Ngara, the family home at 46 Rowland Street in Kew where Mr Whitlam was born in 1916.
According to local legend, the future prime minister was born on the kitchen table of the home.
  • Ngara was purchased by overseas buyer Youquing Liang for $3.3 million in November 2013, and
  • the new owner wants to bulldoze the historic house to make way for a new residence.
According to documents obtained by The Age, Dr Napthine was advised of the historical significance of the property in May this year, and passed on the information to Mr Guy.
  • In June, Jim Gardner, the executive director of statutory planning and heritage at the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, wrote to local residents on behalf of Mr Guy, and told them that heritage protection had been refused "on the grounds that there is not a prima facie case for inclusion of the place on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR)."
That letter, titled "Gough Whitlam birthplace", was forwarded to Dr Napthine.
  • Mr Guy later refused permission for interim heritage protection to be given to the property.
According to Boroondara Council's heritage application Ngara is worthy of heritage protection as a place of "individual significance".
  • Nine other homes in Victoria have been given heritage protection because a prime minister was born in or lived at the property. These include nearby 10 Howard St in Kew, the former home of Robert Menzies, and 167 Cotham Road in Kew, the former home of Billy Hughes. The birthplace of John Curtin has also been given heritage protection.
City of Boroondara spokeswoman Deb Ganderton said an application to fully demolish the property had been lodged in April, but the council had only been alerted that the house was the birthplace of Mr Whitlam when it was nominated for the Victorian Heritage Register later in the month.
  • "Council investigated the association to Gough Whitlam and confirmed that the property was of local individual heritage significance," she said.
"That request was refused by the officers of the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure under delegation from the Minister for Planning on 17 September, 2014.
  • ""A request … was subsequently lodged with the Minister for Planning for interim heritage protection of the property on 7 May, 2014.
  • Ms Ganderton said a demolition permit was issued by a private building surveyor on October 14, just a week before Mr Whitlam passed away.
Local residents said they would be heartbroken to lose the property. "It's sad to lose these places of local significance, but it seems we have lost the fight," said one neighbour. "Instead we will have another large, bland building on the street."
  • Jellis Craig's Peter Batrouney said he was unaware of the property's historical significance when he sold the three-bedroom early-Edwardian quietly off-market for $3.3 million last November.
  • "There was no heritage overlay on it when we sold it," he said.
  • "The owner mentioned that there was some history to do with Gough Whitlam being in the house.
  • "That's all I knew about it."
Work has already begun on the demolition of garden surrounding the house, which has stood empty since it was sold.
Under Foreign Investment Review Board rules, a foreign buyer has two years to demolish an existing home to make way for a new dwelling.


Millers Point

A community under the hammer - Sydney Morning Herald feature
Watch the introduction video
On prized harbourside land, a fight is being waged to protect one of Sydney's oldest neighbourhoods at Millers Point.
Australia's first public housing is set become an exclusive address - but some residents have vowed to stay.Map Millers Point.jpg

National Trust Media Statement – Millers Point

The National Trust is seeking an immediate halt to Government Property NSW’s call “to register your interest in purchasing a Millers Point Property” which is being promoted on the Family and Community Services Website.
  • “The announced proposal to sell 293 properties in Millers Point has been taken without any consultation with the National Trust. This is despite the entire area being listed on the National Trust Register in 1978 as an Urban Conservation Area and the Trust having listed 127 individual properties in Millers Point on its Register for forty years,” said Trust Chief Executive Officer, Brian Scarsbrick.
  • “The sale decision also appears to have been taken without any prior consultation with the NSW Heritage Division despite Millers Point being listed on the State Heritage Register as a Conservation Area in 1999 and as a Precinct with high social significance in 2003. Additionally 109 places in Millers Point are listed on the State Heritage Register and these places include more than 400 individual dwellings,” said Mr Scarsbrick.

The Trust Advocacy Director, Graham Quint stressed that the Government’s own Statements of Significance for Millers Point say that it “is an intact residential and maritime precinct of outstanding State and national significance, containing buildings and civic spaces dating from the 1830s” and that “the whole place remains a living cultural landscape greatly valued by both its local residents and the people of New South Wales.”
  • Mr Quint also noted that the 2003 State Heritage Register Listing says “Millers Point & Dawes Point Village Precinct is significant through associations with a community in NSW for social, cultural and spiritual reasons. A proportion of the existing population is descended from previous generations of Millers Point locals, and has fostered a strong and loyal sense of community and solidarity.”

Estate agents gagged for covert Millers Point house sell-off

Toby Johnstone August 10, 2014
For sale: 23 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point has views of the Opera House and Walsh Bay.
For sale: 23 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point has views of the Opera House and Walsh Bay.

The first batch of state-owned properties at Millers Point has hit the market without a sound, largely because of a gag placed on the agents by the government.

First 6 public housing properties being sold by the state government at Millers Point at The Rocks. 23 Lower Fort St, Dawes Point. The House from the outside.
First 6 public housing properties being sold by the state government at Millers Point at The Rocks. 23 Lower Fort St, Dawes Point. The House from the outside.


Three real estate agencies contacted by Domain confirmed that all information about the listings had to come through official government channels.
  • It has also emerged that the auctions of the historic homes will be closed to the public and will be held at undisclosed locations. Property inspections are strictly by appointment.
  • When asked why agents were not able to to discuss the listings with the media, a spokesman for the NSW Office of Finance and Services said: "We want the agents focusing on doing what they do, which is sales."
  • But the head of a Millers Point public housing tenants' group, Barney Gardner, said the government was trying to keep the sale campaigns "low key".
  • "It's all going on behind closed doors," he said. "They don't want us to come along and protest."
Read full article
On the quiet: 11 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point, is for sale.
On the quiet: 11 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point, is for sale.
Each property is being sold with a conservation-management plan, which gives a guide as to what is acceptable when renovating.
  • The four properties on offer through McGrath and Di Jones are on freehold titles. In the past, the state government had raised money for public housing by selling 99-year leases for the vacant properties.
  • Two more freehold homes are expected to come onto the market shortly as the government plans to use the first round of auctions "to test the market".

First up: 119 Kent Street, Millers Point is expected to go for more than $1 million at its August 21 auction.
First up: 119 Kent Street, Millers Point is expected to go for more than $1 million at its August 21 auction.

Millers Point and The Rocks: heritage under threat


As the NSW State Government moves to sell-off the social housing at Millers Point and The Rocks, the Tenants' Union's first concern is for the people who will lose their homes and community. But we are also concerned for the buildings and heritage significance of these places.

As Housing NSW's own Millers Point Conservation Management Guidelines put it, 'Millers Point is arguably one of Australia’s most remarkable historic urban places and, for Sydney, a unique jewel.'

external image 20140319000912349738-original.jpgAnd as the Guidelines also say:
  • There is no question that, had Millers Point’s land been in multiple private freehold ownerships, it would not look or feel as it does today.... government-ownership and a dedicated land-use (public housing) have been fundamental factors in the conservation of the heritage significance of Millers Point.
To consider the threat posed to the heritage significance of Millers Point and The Rocks, let's review what we know about the sell-off.

The Government proposes to sell 206 heritage-listed properties in Millers Point, and eight heritage-listed properties in Gloucester Street, The Rocks (we'll leave aside, for present purposes, the 79 properties in the Sirius building, which isn't heritage-listed. It should be – but that's a topic for a future post). That's 214 properties, all on the State Heritage Register.

This makes them an unusual commodity. If you own a State heritage-listed property, what you can do to it is heavily regulated under the Heritage Act 1977. Some things – for example, cleaning, repairs and maintenance – you can do provided you comply with detailed conditions stipulated by the Heritage Council, which in most cases includes notifying a heritage officer of what you propose to do. If you want to do anything else, you'll have to apply formally for Heritage Council approval. And with these properties, any new owners will have things to do. As the State Government has pointed out, these properties need some work, so the owners have to deal with this regulatory regime.

So taking on one of these properties really is a task for someone with special skills and enthusiasm for heritage conservation. It'll take a heritage buff. This limits the market for these properties.

As for what the State Government plans to get for them, we don't know, but when it started looking at Millers Point the figure of $500 million was mentioned – that works out, on average, to about $2.3 million per property.

Now, a previous program of sales in Millers Point raised $28 million from 29 properties, with an average sale price was $1.3 million (NSW State Government figures). Those 29 properties were sold over a period of six years.

The current proposal is for the sale of 214 properties, over a period of less than two years. The State Government wants them sold by March 2016.
You have to ask: is there really a market of heritage buffs to buy 214 State heritage-listed properties in Millers Points and The Rocks, at $1.3-2.3 million a pop, all in the next 19 months?
We put this question to a representative of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, who said 'watch out for the international marketing campaign.' We wonder how many genuine aficionados of early twentieth century austere Arts and Crafts Australian working class housing there are outside Australia.
It seems like something has got to give.
We're worried that it will be heritage that gives, and these properties will go to buyers who don't know their obligations under the Heritage Act – or who might even deliberately subvert their obligations, and declare their properties are unsafe and beyond conserving, with a view to undertaking a more radical and intensive redevelopment that destroys the heritage significance of the place.
read more:



Jonathan Chancellor | 26 May 2014

Point Piper's Altona stands proud amid tabloid media demolition hysterics

Gallery at above link;
Point Piper's Altona stands proud amid tabloid media demolition hysterics
Point Piper's Altona stands proud amid tabloid media demolition hysterics

The low-key Huang family were hosting guests at Altona, their prized $52 million Point Piper home, yesterday.
It was an outdoor lunch on the alfresco terrace they've installed on the previously neglected tennis court block.external image alotna%20may%2027%20threee.jpg
  • Leeuwin Estate and Penfolds Shiraz were available along with the BBQ prawns.
  • The family and guests had earlier popped down to the harbourfront jetty to take photographs with the trophy home, Altona as the backdrop.Title Tattle was cruising Sunday morning spotting the obviously proud family as they posed and then pointed out the classic features of their iconic Victorian Italianate home to their international guests.
  • Possibly they were all oblivious to the silly speculation in the Fairfax Media Sunday tabloid that had suggested Altona was the "next" trophy home set for demolition. "Altona likely to be demolished," said the headline without any subsequent proof.
external image SMH-may-26-one.jpg
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Title Tattle gathers neighbours have been merely advised to expect bathroom renovations at the Wunulla Road property, not the wrecking ball.
  • Indeed the mere absence of the property from the forthcoming 1995 Woollahra Council local environment plan update doesn't make it the next to be bulldozed. There has been no application by the Huang family, just an overdue consideration by council of what homes across the municipality should and should not be included in the updated local environment plan.
Title Tattle suggests the recent demolition of nearby Craig-y-mor, anticipated for five years, ought not have been extrapolated into the reckless weekend report that Altona too faces the same outcome.
  • However the depiction of reality further faded by mid-morning when the international Daily Mail website managed to completely mangle the earlier Sun Herald report to its worldwide audience.
external image daily-mail-may-26-one.jpg
Source: Daily Mail
It wrote:
"A $54 million waterfront mansion located in an exclusive Sydney suburb is set to become the most expensive Australian property to be knocked down.
  • "The Altona residence in Point Piper, located just metres back from Sydney Harbour, will smash the current record for a demolition property by more than $20 million if a decision to move the wrecking ball in get's approved next month.
  • "The fate of the 1960s estate is in the hands of Sydney's Woolhara (sic) Council, which will need to assess whether the benefits of building a more contemporary estate on the site outweighs the current property's heritage listed significance. A heritage assessment report compiled for the council recommends against the knockdown of the Victorian Italianate residence, but the report only lists the original features of the two-storey residence as being a parapet, two chimneys and a tower."
  • The entire Daily Mail report was wrong, jumping to conclusions based on the misleading intent within the originating Sun Herald article. The Australian Financial Review has also republished the piece under the heading, Sydney mansion Altona faces demolition.
  • Last June, after its $52 million sale, Woollahra councillors moved a motion that a report be prepared considering the heritage significance and possible heritage listing of the property at 54-56 Wunulla Road, Point Piper, known as Altona including its curtilage.
  • It concluded renovations and extensions over the decades meant there was little origin heritage within the estate.
  • That's a pity, but it hardly warrants the hysterically misleading weekend reports.

May 25, 2014 - 33 reading now
Lucy Macken
Lucy Macken

Lucy Macken
Prestige Property Reporter

Altona likely to join other Sydney mansions to be demolished

LUCY MACKEN As the pile of rubble accumulates on the site of the former Point Piper mansion Craig-y-Mor, the nearby waterfront trophy Altona could become Sydney's next high-end demolition job.
recent aerial photograph of Altona at Point Piper taken by Tim Mooney
recent aerial photograph of Altona at Point Piper taken by Tim Mooney
Would exceed Sydney's most expensive knock down and rebuild job if demolished: Altona at Point Piper. Photo: Tim Mooney
As the pile of rubble accumulates on the site of the former Point Piper mansion Craig-y-Mor, the nearby waterfront trophy Altona could become Sydney's next high-end demolition job.
A heritage assessment report compiled for Woollahra Council and set to be submitted to the Urban Planning Committee on Monday recommends against any heritage order for the Victorian Italianate residence, which sold last March for $52 million to a buyer from China.
If Altona was knocked down, it would exceed Sydney's most expensive knock down and rebuild job under way on the non-waterfront Craig-y-Mor mansion, which sold for $32.4 million in 2008 to Zeng Wei, the son of China's former vice-president Zeng Qinghong, and his wife Jiang Mei.
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Before demolition: Craig-y-Mor at Point Piper. Photo: Lee Besford
Rather than keep the imposing residence with its 1960s redesign by architect Leslie Wilkinson, Craig-y-Mor is being flattened to make way for a contemporary mansion designed by architect Stephen Gergely.
Before Craig-y-Mor was demolished it was known for its distinctive bay windows and columns and for being the former home of the consul-general of Japan, late stockbroker Rene Rivkin and the stevedoring company owner Chris Corrigan.
Plans for the new Craig-y-Mor residence were rejected by Woollahra Council but were later approved by the Land and Environment Court.
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Demolished in 1990: Paradis sur Mer at Point Piper. Photo: Supplied
The report into the heritage significance of nearby Altona says the original two-storey residence has been extended to three times its footprint, and the only remnants are a parapet, two chimneys and a tower. Woollahra Council is expected to make a decision on June 10.
Sydney is no stranger to the demolition of trophy residences. The waterfront estate Paradis sur Mer was a high-profile knock down and rebuild in 1990, and not only because it was sold for a then record high $19.2 million in the late 1980s by Sir Frank and Lady Susan Renouf.
Built in 1937 for the Radford family, it was knocked down to make way for two houses at the end of the peninsula, one called Paradis sur Mer II, which is owned by Orli Wargon, wife of businessman David Gonski, and the second home called Radford. A third smaller residence has been built on the former slipway on the site, which is for sale for about $15 million. In Watsons Bay, commodities trader Vaughan Blank spent $28.1 million in 2008 to buy the 1928-built Spanish villa, Villa Porto Rosa.
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Demolished in 2008: Villa Porto Rosa at Camp Cove. Photo: Supplied
Within months of that purchase, the home had been levelled and work was under way on Mr Blank's beachfront mansion.
It all comes back to location, according Ken Jacobs, of Christie's International, who sold the property to Mr Blank.
''The best positions are always the first to go and so it is in Sydney where you have these extraordinary vantage points, and buyers who want the position but not necessarily the house that stands on it,'' Mr Jacobs said.
''The reality is that some of these properties, although not all, are highly under-capitalised.''
In Elizabeth Bay, the waterfront mansion Cardigan was sold by the late high-profile divorce lawyer Cedric Symonds for $8.5 million in 1996 to the East Asia Property Group, after it had already been approved for demolition to make way for seven apartments.
Often, Sydney's grand old mansions survive the wrecking ball to be converted into apartments. Two of the best examples are the former family home of Sir Samuel Hordern, Babworth House, in Darling Point, and Kilmory, in Point Piper. Both estates were converted into strata-title offerings in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.


BURWOOD BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE DEVELOPER


18 Wyatt Ave burwood
18 Wyatt Ave burwood


A beautiful Federation mansion in Burwood is now under imminent threat of demolition following the lodging of a DA to build eight townhouses on the 1853sqm estate. The six bedroom property, at 18 Wyatt Avenue Burwood sold at auction in April 2012 for $2,950,000 to Mr. Zhou who placed the DA in October 2013.
  • The house was once owned by Edward ‘Red Ted’ Theodore, who led an illustrious career as a Union leader, Queensland Premier and Federal Treasurer under the Scullin Labor government during the Great Depression, later making his fortune as a private business
    Former owner Edward 'Red Ted' Theodore. Image State Library of Queensland.
    Former owner Edward 'Red Ted' Theodore. Image State Library of Queensland.
    partner of Sir Frank Packer setting up gold mines in Fiji and holding the position of Chairman of Directors within Packer’s publishing giant ACP. Theodore has been described as a radical thinker of his time and has been immortalized with both a township in Queensland and a suburb in Canberra named after him.

  • The house backs on to the heritage listed Appian Way, and forms part of the fabric of the heritage-rich Burwood area, a landscape local residents fear is being eroded piece by piece if proposals like this are allowed to gain traction. That fabric was tethered a few years ago with the loss of the magnificent Federation mansion Tilba to a unit development – this new case is already drawing comparisons and can be seen as another litmus test of just how determined council are to protect the significant heritage assets of Burwood that happen to fall just outside their rather inadequate conservation zones.

  • Worryingly the determination of Burwood Council may not be where it should… The council’s heritage architect has already approved demolition of the property. It is now before councillors for final approval, who have received 39 letters of objection amongst a growing tide of concern by residents who have invested significant amounts of money to live in an area they see as a stronghold of Federation era heritage and a charming suburb of aesthetic beauty in its own right.
The Cary Grant-like former owner Edward ‘Red Ted’ Theodore. Image State Library of Queensland.
An elegant Federation mansion. Image federation-house.wikispaces.com
An elegant Federation mansion. Image federation-house.wikispaces.com

An elegant Federation mansion. Image federation-house.wikispaces.com
Rear of 18 Wyatt Ave Burwood. Image federation-house.wikispaces.com
Rear of 18 Wyatt Ave Burwood. Image federation-house.wikispaces.com

Rear of 18 Wyatt Ave Burwood. Image federation-house.wikispaces.com

  • President of the Burwood Historical Society Jon Breen knows all too well about the imminent danger not only for this house but the suburb in general. “This side of Wyatt Ave has always been seen as a bulwark or protection zone for the internationally significant precinct of Appian Way,” he told Burwood Scene. “Twenty years ago the National Trust proposed a buffer zone around Appian Way to protect this unique and historically important area. Such a buffer zone would have stopped the demolition of a number of historic buildings.”

  • On the other side, building company Ausray International appears to see this as a done deal, already advertising the new townhouses on its website under the name ‘Ausray Wyatt Place’, making enlightening claims that “18 Wyatt Ave, Burwood is located in the best street in Burwood, it has best combination of character homes with peaceful leaf and green areas.”

…umm, is that one of the so-called character homes that you just applied to demolish?
Ausray International has already advertised the development. Image Ausray.
Ausray International has already advertised the development. Image Ausray.

Ausray International has already advertised the development complete with plastic people. Ausray.
The proposed eight townhouse development.
The proposed eight townhouse development.

The proposed eight townhouse development.

  • Inheritance has joined the fight by writing a letter of objection to any intention of approval. Our associate NSW Heritage Network have done the same. What remains to be seen now is whether Burwood Council will side with the concerns of residents they are meant to represent, or side with a new breed of developer-buyers who are more than happy to invest in the area purely to knock down these magnificent treasures in order to turn a quick profit and at the same time destroy the wonderful local heritage these homes represent. Considering 18 Wyatt Avenue sold for $2,050,000 back in July 2002, an average profit of $90,000 a year was made by the previous owner just by holding onto the property, which goes to show you don’t have to demolish to make money out of real estate in Sydney. Just treat it with the respect it deserves.
  • Link to Burwood and District Historical Society ‘Changing Scene’ page showing multiple heritage demolitions around the area.
  • Main title image federation-house.wikispaces.com

Historic home under demolition threat


Burwood Council has received a Development Application to demolish a 100-year-old free-standing Federation home at 18 Wyatt Avenue in Burwood and replace it with town houses that would sit closer to the road.
Burwood home under demolition threat
Burwood home under demolition threat

Burwood home under demolition threat

Surrounding residents have expressed fear for the heritage of the area and the future of the majestic home, which backs onto the prestigious and protected Appian Way. “There is considerable and escalating community disquiet not only in Wyatt Avenue and Appian Way but more broadly across Burwood,” said Appian Way resident Alec Tichon.
  • “The DA if passed would significantly degrade the streetscape which is enjoyed by many people who not only live in the area but come here from more densely populated areas of Burwood on recreational walks. Environmentally this just doesn’t make sense,” he said.
  • The DA, lodged by Mr Li for owner Mr Zhou on August 6, calls for the demolition of the existing house and the construction of town houses in a build valued at just over $2 million.
  • John Gould, whose family have owned 16 Wyatt Avenue for over 60 years, is concerned by the application.
  • “It would be a great pity if it was demolished as it suits the streetscape. Other developments in the street have required the retention of the existing street-front house,” Mr Gould commented.
  • “We come here on our morning walks to enjoy the trees, birds and beautiful homes,” one passer-by commented.
President of the Burwood Historical Society Jon Breen is urging Burwood Council to protect the street.
“This side of Wyatt Ave has always been seen as a bulwark or protection zone for the internationally significant precinct of Appian Way, “Mr Breen said. “Twenty years ago the National Trust proposed a buffer zone around Appian Way to protect this unique and historically important area. Such a buffer zone would have stopped the demolition of a number of historic buildings.”
  • “This whole area is unique and should be treasured. A large townhouse development means we will forever lose more of the heritage significance of the area and the visual appeal that is so important to the relaxation of so many people who use this area for recreation in the mornings and evenings.” Alex Tichon added.
Submissions to Burwood Council closed on October 14.
By Belinda Noonan

Supreme Court backs VCAT on demolition of Arden home

Apr 8, 2014 - A FEDERATION-style home in Hawthorn East can be torn down after the Supreme Court upheld a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal .Arden, on the corner of Burke and Rathmines roads, was the subject of an application from a company called 1045 Burke Road Pty Ltd to build a four-storey building with 33 flats.
  • Boroondara Council rejected the planning application, but the decision was overturned at a VCAT planning tribunal.Public Backlash convener Mary Drost described the decision as “an absolute disaster”.
    “What’s most worrying is that this is a listed, heritage house. It’s a very special house,” Ms Drost said.
    “I believe this ruling now makes no heritage building safe.”
  • Planning Backlash convener, Mary Drost had described the Supreme Court challenge as Boroondara’s “Castle” moment.
    “It is the vibe,” she said. “And the vibe surrounding Burke Rd was all wrong.
    “People everywhere have been disturbed by this decision, because it could be the end of heritage in Melbourne.
  • Read more...


Boroondara Council gears up to take on Supreme Court over Arden home and `the vibe’ in Hawthorn East


  • GREG GLIDDON
  • PROGRESS LEADER
  • APRIL 08, 2014 2:59PM



A MELBOURNE council will appeal a Supreme Court decision to allow the demolition of a 120-year-old house in Hawthorn East.
Boroondara Council, in the city’s inner eastern suburbs, decided at an urgent meeting last night to fight the controversial decision.
Progress Leader reported today the Supreme Court on March 27 upheld a VCAT decision approving the demolition of ‘Arden’, on the corner of Burke and Rathmines roads.
The federation-style home is set to make way for a four-storey building with 33 flats.
But councillors passed a motion last night to pursue the matter through the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The council has until tomorrow (April 9) to file its appeal.

Planning Backlash convener, Mary Drost has described the Supreme Court challenge as Boroo
Planning Backlash convener, Mary Drost has described the Supreme Court challenge as Boroo

Planning Backlash convener, Mary Drost has described the Supreme Court challenge as Boroondara’s “Castle” moment. Source: News Limited
Planning Backlash convener Mary Drost said it was Boroondara’s “Castle” moment.
“It is the vibe,” she said. “And the vibe surrounding Burke Rd was all wrong.

  • “People everywhere have been disturbed by this decision, because it could be the end of heritage in Melbourne.
  • “I’m absolutely thrilled the council has decided to take this further.”
Resident Kate Dear, who led a petition that attracted more than 75 objections, said she was also thrilled the council was appealing.
  • “I can understand why they are doing this and this decision could be a landmark for all other heritage decisions in the future,” Ms Dear said.
  • “I’m delighted to hear about the appeal and the quantum of people involved will be equally pleased.”
  • Boroondara Council had rejected the planning application, but the decision was overturned at planning tribunal VCAT.
  • VCAT argued it was entitled to consider a broad range of matters in determining whether to grant permission for the demolition, including the benefits of urban consolidation and the architectural quality of the replacement building.
  • Mayor Coral Ross said the council’s view was that considerations ought to be limited to the impacts on the significance of the building and the heritage value of the area.
“The Supreme Court has decided not to allow the review and has supported VCAT’s proposition that broader considerations are relevant when assessing applications to demolish heritage buildings,” Cr Ross said.
In the ruling handed down on March 27, Judge Karin Emerton said the tribunal did not err in granting the demolition.
“I accept the respondent’s submission ... that while an individual determination under the heritage overlay may produce a negative outcome in terms of heritage considerations alone, it must be integrated with decisions or assessments made in respect of other permit triggers and considered as part of the proposal as a whole,” Judge Emerton said.
“If the overall proposal may achieve an acceptable outcome, a permit for the proposal as a whole should issue.”



Supreme Court backs VCAT on demolition of Arden home in Hawthorn East


  • GREG GLIDDON
  • PROGRESS LEADER
  • APRIL 08, 2014 10:35AM


VCAT has approved the demolition of a Federation home at 1045 Burke Road Camberwell. Pict
VCAT has approved the demolition of a Federation home at 1045 Burke Road Camberwell. Pict

VCAT has approved the demolition of a Federation home at 1045 Burke Road Camberwell. Picture: CHRIS EASTMAN Source: News Limited
A FEDERATION-style home in Hawthorn East can be torn down after the Supreme Court upheld a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision approving the demolition.
Arden, on the corner of Burke and Rathmines roads, was the subject of an application from a company called 1045 Burke Road Pty Ltd to build a four-storey building with 33 flats.
Boroondara Council rejected the planning application, but the decision was overturned at a VCAT planning tribunal.

  • VCAT argued it was entitled to consider a broad range of matters in determining whether to grant permission for the demolition, including the benefits of urban consolidation and the architectural quality of the replacement building.
  • Mayor Coral Ross said the council’s view was that considerations ought to be limited to the impacts on the significance of the building and the heritage value of the area.
  • “The Supreme Court has decided not to allow the review and has supported VCAT’s proposition that broader considerations are relevant when assessing applications to demolish heritage buildings,” Cr Ross said.
  • In the ruling handed down on March 27, Judge Karin Emerton said the tribunal did not err in granting the demolition.
  • “I accept the respondent’s submission ... that while an individual determination under the heritage overlay may produce a negative outcome in terms of heritage considerations alone, it must be integrated with decisions or assessments made in respect of other permit triggers and considered as part of the proposal as a whole,” Judge Emerton said.
  • “If the overall proposal may achieve an acceptable outcome, a permit for the proposal as a whole should issue.”
  • The initial application received 75 objections in a campaign led by neighbouring resident Kate Dear.
Ms Dear said she feared for the future of heritage homes in Hawthorn and Camberwell after the ruling.
  • “The system is weighted towards the developers,” Ms Dear said. “The development is too big for the block and it will overlook a heritage protected area.”
Public Backlash convener Mary Drost described the decision as “an absolute disaster”.
  • “What’s most worrying is that this is a listed, heritage house. It’s a very special house,” Ms Drost said.
  • “I believe this ruling now makes no heritage building safe.”