HELP US SAVE No.47!
47 Connells Point Rd. South Hurstville
This imposing art deco building is locally significant to the St. George community, adds to the character and streetscape, and should be retained for future generations of the area. Unfortunately a Development Application has been lodged, and Kogarah Council has approved the demolition of this graceful home, to be replaced with eight units complete with basement excavation. We are mounting a campaign to save this treasured building, and we need support from the community and cultural enthusiasts alike. This is our built heritage that is in peril, we need to protect these assets as currently neither state nor local forms of government seem fit to act on the behalf of the residents they are meant to represent. A community demonstration will take place at the site 47 Connells Point Rd. South Hurstville on Saturday 2nd June at 11am. The Leader photographer will be present, so please attend and support our heritage. Feel free to print out the flyer below and put it up on your local noticeboard.
“An imposing interwar Art Deco style residence with a large front entrance consisting of three moulded and rendered archways and with art deco leadlight panelling throughout”- Musescape study
Black and white image courtesy Jane Walther.
Colour images by Inheritance
courtesy Jane Walther
Number 47 Connells Point Road began its history when part of the Railway estate was sold at auction on the public holiday of the Prince of Wales Birthday, Tuesday 9th November 1886. This was 2 years after the opening of the Illawarra railway.
The house at 47 Connell’s Point Road has been described as an imposing Art Deco residence representative of interwar development on the Railway Estate. It still remains in excellent original condition and is an example of an increasingly rare type of building in the area. The front has three archways with moulded skirting on the front façade. It has Art Deco leadlight doors and windows throughout. It was purpose built for a Dr Frank Howell with living area on the top floor and a staircase leading to the waiting room and surgery below. The house is built to mould sympathetically onto the hillside rather than gouge it out. There have only been 3 owners in its 83 years. On Dr Howell’s death it was sold to another doctor, Barry Prarson who owed it for 20 year and used it as a doctor’s surgery.
July 1994 – Study by Tropman & Tropman Architects – found the house to be of local significance – put in Group 2 (for later assessment – but page 58 of the report notes that these houses may be equally as important as group 1 but needed to undergoing further historical study.
1999 – Study by Musecape – They described the house as an imposing residence interwar Art Deco style residence with a large front entrance consisting of three moulded and rendered archways and with art deco leadlight panelling throughout.
They considered it to be a good example of its type with fine architectural detail. They found it worthy of protection, as buildings of this type are increasingly rare, especially in such an original state and in such good condition.
29 August 2000 – 23 October 2000 – Draft plan exhibited for 56 days and owners notified in writing, 70 submissions were received.
Recommendation from Heritage Advisors and Senior Planner that 47 Connells Point Road be included in LEP (after objection from owner).
Heritage Task Force recommendations after submissions had been considered recommended 47 Connells Point Road be included in LEP
26 March 2001 – Council Meeting – Council to adopt a revised LEP. Council resolves to include 47 Connells Point Road , South Hurstville in Annexure 3 ie. to defer listing for additional research to clarify the level of heritage significance
18th April 2001 – Reply from Planning Manager Antony Fabbro stating that the report identifying the house as having heritage significance was done by Musecape a strongly qualified and experienced team. He states that the property was always considered as having heritage significance BUT … a decision has been deferred pending consultation with the owners.
1st June 2001 – Report by Jon Mathias Chartered Architects Heritage Advisor to LEP task group backing up the heritage significance of the house
Report said the site is already developed to max capacity. House is in good condition and of unusual design with attractive details. Makes a positive contribution to the diversity of historical styles in the street.
13th August 2001 – Council Meeting to discuss Draft LEP Heritage Items.
Recommendation still stands to include 47 Connells Point Road in the Living Centres Planning project, BUT even though this was the resolution in the draft plan the councillors put it on the list of houses to be deleted from all protection. Present were Katris, Vavaris, Platt and Tang.
After August 2001 – Letter from Heritage Office (re Council Meeting of 13th August) noting that only 95 of the 165 proposed properties were to be given heritage listing. “A concern is raised that the advice provided by the Council’s Heritage Advisor and Senior Planner appears to have been ignored in many cases by Council’s Heritage LEP Task Group. The LEP Task Group had recommended the deletion of many items which contradicts the advice provided by the Heritage Advisor and Council officer, with no justification or reason provided as to why the Task Group has made such a recommendation. “ “The Council is advised that when the draft LEPs are referred to the Heritage Office for comment in the future, the LEP Task Group is required to provide justification under the provisions of the NSW Heritage Act 1977 for the proposed deletion of heritage items.”
Council has gone against 3 paid consultants and based it’s decision on a poor argument from a home owner. It has also ignored Heritage Council guidelines and its Heritage Adviser and Senior Planner at the time.
The development application did not comply with Council regulation in 5 areas, including a serious deficit in impervious area and common ground. They did not tick the box indicating closeness to a Council reserve (ie next door!).
Excavation of that scale on Connells Point Road so near to King Georges Road would cause traffic chaos. This section of road has only just been made a little better by lane changes.
Council ignored a petition signed by neighbours objecting to the size of the development.
On the night of the Council meeting the vote was 4 to 5, but 2 Councillors were not present on the night.