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.

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14 responses to “HELP US SAVE No.47!”

  1. Jane Walther says :

    Michael Platt told me I was the only person who cared about the heritage value of this building. I think we’ve shown him he’s wrong.

    Jane Walther

    • Maggie Smith says :

      I think it is great you care, so why not buy it yourself and maintain it. Have you considered that? I think it is a lovely building as well but I could not afford to maintain it. I guess if you want to make it your home and maintain it that would be great

      • inheritanceorg says :

        I’d love to buy it Maggie, but being a non profit blog I doubt I could raise the capital.
        Maybe Kogarah Council could buy it and use it as a meeting place to decide how they are going to spend our rates in updating their local heritage list.

  2. Victoria says :

    Why are suburbs like Bronte etc able to realise the value of similar, intact, period properties yet a suburb in the St George area cannot? Who in the Council is being paid off to allow the modern monstrosities to flood the Hurstville area? My husband and I have been away for 10 years and just came back to a Hurstville that is barely recognisable due to the apartments, traffic and crowding at Hurstville Station and Forest Road. We chose not to live in this area again as it is now overcrowded with poorly built, garish painted, letterbox sized apartments.

  3. Rose says :

    I feel that if you want to protest you can do so but it is wrong to protest in front of the owner’s house, if you think that the Council has made the wrong decision why not protest in front of the Council Chambers. You are invading that person’s privacy.

    I also feel the Leader should not have published the owner’s name and address. Would you like your name and address to be published online and in the paper so people can harass you, I think NOT!!!

    If Jane Walther love the house so much, why not buy it and maintain it? Or may be arrange somebody else to buy it ?

    • inheritanceorg says :

      Thanks for your comment Rose. We are only meeting at the front of the house for a photograph, not a loud protest or anything obnoxious. As there is a main entry at rear and this side of the house is obviously not used, being overgrown with weeds, and we are down below the house, we will not cause any intrusion. After the photo is taken we will move away, across the road and chat there or disperse.
      I’m not sure if the Leader published the owner’s name, but on this site we have gone to lengths not to publish any names.

    • tessathetealady says :

      I’m not actually sure the house ever went on the market to be bought by a general home owner, otherwise there may have been a chance for someone to buy it without wanting to knock it down.

  4. julie says :

    It’s unbelievable that our Council does not care about the heritage houses in our area. The same thing is happening in Oatley, where beautiful old homes (and gardens) are being bulldozed and every square metre is covered in buildings whose sameness is an offence to the character of our suburbs. Let’s celebrate diversity and keep our wonderful history intact for our children and grandchildren!

  5. Jane Walther says :

    We went to the Council meeting to fight for the house, the “developer” spoke, so we had no reason to believe the previous owner was involved in the development or even still resident in the house. It is Kogarah Council we hold responsible – after 3 reports recommended the heritage listing of this house they refused even to put a temporary heritage order on the place so it could be considered for 6 months. Not all houses are equal when it comes to their disposal – if a house like this is considered by the community to be worth saving but the Council is so out of touch it is not willing to save it then public agitation is the only avenue available.

    • Bruce Llewellyn says :

      Hi Jane,
      I have been wandering around the net looking for ex BHS students for a small reunion of 1963 leavers, Ann Selle (Baker) is organising.
      Came across these articles about your grandfather’s house. Were you successful?

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