Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson wants an old house at 38 Dudley Street in Coogee to become a rallying point for the revival of the heritage movement in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.
Randwick City Council is fighting to save the dwelling from demolition by exhibiting for public comment a change to its main planning instrument which allows for protection of heritage items.
Matson’s plan is to extend the existing Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area further east to cover both 38 Dudley and a number of other dwellings local residents consider worth retaining for the future.
Matson has been fighting to save the homes since February last year. Strongly against protection is his fellow East Ward representative Liberal Councillor Brendan Roberts. Supporting Councillor Roberts are independent Councillors Anthony Andrews and Noel D’Souza.
The four clashed earlier this year when the majority of Randwick Councillors voted with Matson to ask the NSW Government for permission to exhibit.
This week the Council was given “gateway determination” by the Department of Planning and Environment to place its proposal on exhibition for 1 month from the 3rd July 2018. Councillor Matson has advised residents that “…the battle to save the heritage homes of Dudley Street has begun.” He wants his constituents to write submissions once the exhibition officially starts.
Of all the effected dwellings 38 Dudley is currently the most at risk. A letter was mailbox-dropped to residents this week by a private building certifier advising of plans to demolish it within days.
Randwick Council moved swiftly to slap an Interim Heritage Order on it after residents alerted Councillor Matson to the pending destruction.
Worryingly the Council reported that it had not received notification of this work “despite the private Certifier advising that a letter had been sent to Council by post mail”.
The near loss of the dwelling has shaken Councillor Matson enough to publicly ask residents to report to Council the arrival of any further demolition proposals. He said today:
“It is amazing that private developers in NSW can use the Complying Development provisions to demolish 100 year old buildings if the idea ticks the boxes of a standard template. And it can be done with minimal involvement of the local Council. We only saved 38 Dudley this week because a resident was on the ball enough to warn me as one of their local Councillors.”
“The building and site at No. 38 Dudley Street was one of a number of properties that had been recently recommended for listing as local heritage items and to be included in a proposed extension of the boundary of the Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area, as contained in a planning proposal to the Department of Planning and Environment.” (source: Randwick City Council email to Councillors 28th June 2018)
“The IHO is consistent with the provisions of the Heritage Act 1977 and the Heritage Council Guidelines. In particular, Section 25 of the Heritage Act 1977 authorises a Council to make an Interim Heritage Order for a building and/or place that council considers is of local heritage significance and that Council considers is being, or is likely to be, harmed.” (source: Randwick City Council email to Councillors 28th June 2018)