MINUTES OF TVC MEETING SUNDAY 28 APRIL 2019 AT 4PM

PRESENT: Paul Tuckerman, Murray Jones, Susannah Cavill, Tony Horneman, Nick Gartrell, Bradon Ellem, Jeremy Park, Meredith Hutton, FIona Reynolds, Carol L Roderick, John Mebberson, M. Fraser, Marilyne Mackintosh, Bob Mackintosh, Ken Klunas, Margaret Wall, Andrew Lawless, Anne Maree Lawless, Rick Warr, Janet Webster, Martin Gorrick, Ray Smith, Kay Smith, Judy Bourke, Jo Holder, Alex Doyle, Candice Greenwood, Stuart Nettle, Annette Jones, Nigel Puckeridge, Cheryl Fenton, Kay McDonnell, Catherine Philps, Lynne Parker, Hennefle Lucardic, Larah Pugh, Karine Shellshear, Peter Spencer, Sue Stolk, Brendan Stolk, Robert GLynn, Aaron Sutcliffe, Sue Harbour, Alan Adolfsson, Russell Worthington, Louise Wellington, Warrick O’Brien, Ron Hutching, Sue Hutching, Catriona Caw, Vicki Potter, Phillip Boulten, Roz Chattaway (52)

APOLOGIES: Ross Dearden, Yvonne Whitesmith, Christine Hill, Kelly Carey, Cheryl O’Conner, Councillor Anne Martin (6)

Meeting opened at 4pm.

1. WELCOME BY THE PRESIDENT

The President of the TVC welcomed all present, noting the increased attendance at the meeting given the speakers from the National Trust. Martin Gorrick will introduce the speakers and be moderator for the session.

2. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING

Minutes of previous meeting of 17 February 2019 had been distributed by email and accepted as read. Endorsed – Annette Jones
Seconded – John Mebberson

3. CORRESPONDENCE

The Secretary (Murray Jones) has written to the NSW Minister for Transport in relation to the transport issues previously raised. This correspondence was distribute by email.
Luke Borg, Development Manager of Anglicare wrote to advise that they are waiting on DPE so there is no news as yet on the proposed Anglicare Retirement Trust development.

The Development Application (DA) subcommittee has been busy with a number of non-standard DAs such as:

  • ●  28 George Street rejected by WLPP. Developer plans to re-design.

  • ●  178 Lawrence Hargrave Drive (redesigned building passed)

  • ●  13 Pass Avenue (passed with numerous modifications)

  • ●  7A Cochrane Road (to go before WLPP next week). This was passed with little change.

  • ●  30 Hewitts Ave (dwelling moved back on the block).

    Notice of fund raiser for the Clifton School of Arts
    – Special screening of the film ‘Beneath Hill 60’ to be held on 10 May at 6pm.

    Christine Hill wrote about the environmental downside of residential buildings that are painted black/dark grey.

4. GRAFFITI REPORT

The graffiti subcommittee reported on activities including that WCC has and will supply paint to assist in painting over inappropriate graffiti in Thirroul. The work of John Dalla Pozza was noted with thanks. The next meeting of the graffiti group is to be held on Saturday 18 May at 10am. Venue: Jose Jones.

4. TREASURER’S REPORT

The TVC currently has $4,901.19 in its IMB account. There have been no added expenses.

5. BUSINESS ON NOTICE

Options for action on Thirroul’s Heritage

Introduction

Martin Gorrick welcomed the two guests from the National Trust and by way of introduction provided an overview of the TVCs recent actions in relation to non standard developments. Martin also recounted a number of heritage buildings that have been saved by local actions, including the Thirroul Railway Institute Hall (TRIPS Hall) and Platform 2/3 of Thirroul Railway Station.

Martin explained that heritage listing does not only extend to individual buildings. A whole precinct, a stand of trees, individual trees and creeks can also be heritage listed. Henceforth any new development needs to be sympathetic and fit in with the streetscape. Martin quoted the examples of the Grove and Moore Street Austinmer. There are a number of streets in Thirroul where heritage listing of a precinct may be advantageous – parts of George St, Lachlan St and Station St to name a few.

Recently there has been an erosion of the streetscape in Thirroul due to subdivisions of single home blocks and the subsequent building of two storey dwelling. Martin also expressed reservations about recent and pending changes to the NSW planning legislation. In July 2018, Councillors were removed from the development application process, Council Staff lost most of their authority and this year there is a pending increase in the scope of private certifiers.

TVC’s DA subcommittee was formed to address these concerns. TVC will not act against developments that comply with planning controls. The subcommittee checks all DAs for exemptions to existing planning controls. These exemptions are reviewed and if found to be excessive the TVC will:

  1. Write to Council and argue against these variations and

  2. Advise and seek support from neighbours affected by the development.

The subcommittee is notified of DAs in the neighbourhood via an Open Australia Foundation app called ‘Planning Alerts’. Go to their website to register for this free app: https://www.oaf.org.au/category/projects/planningalerts-org-au/

Martin introduced the speakers –

Fiona Reynolds – Member of the National Trust since 1974 Chair of the Illawarra National Trust

B. Arts in Fine Arts

Meredith Hutton - Board Director of the National Trust

Historical archaeologist and heritage consultant & Member of the Wollongong Council of Heritage Advisory Committee Member of the Old Court House Management Committee

Presentation by Meredith Hutton

Meredith Hutton addressed the meeting and spoke about heritage and vernacular architecture. Vernacular architecture is characterised by its reliance on the needs, construction materials and traditions specific to its particular locality. It is a type of architecture which is indigenous to a specific time and place and not replicatedfrom elsewhere. It is our interpretation of the world.

In Thirroul this started with Woodlands cottage which was the first grand residence built in northern Illawarra for Captain Robert Marsh Westmacott of Sandon Point circa 1842. This building had a veranda all the way around the home. Another example is Wyewurk which was built around 1920 and where D.H Lawrence spent time writing ‘Kangaroo’. This is our expression of a Californian Bungalow style of architecture. This building is in fact, surrounded by Queen Anne type buildings.

Thirroul has evolved through farming and coal mining to a rail transport centre to a popular beachside suburbwhilst still maintaining many aspects of the suburban residential properties that evolved over many years.These are often characterised by garden blocks where each house had its own front and rear yards with fruit trees, gardens, flowers, hills hoist and chooks. It was noted that Thirroul shopping centre is different to most shopping centres as it is linear in design. Most shops are on Lawrence Hargrave Drive. Most shopping centres have a large number of shops in the side streets. This unique design is worth conserving.

Like most suburbs many dwellings are being replaced by multi storey buildings that often have reflective, heat producing surfaces. As 70% of the vegetation in the Wollongong Council area is in private hands the reduction of trees and plants due to lack of space is an issue. Given the number of DAs requesting subdivisions of one house blocks this is increasingly difficult. It was suggested that we need to work to preserve the existing vegetation, especially large significant trees. This is where heritage listing of a precinct can be of advantage. Identification of a clear precinct means there is more control over development in that area. The emphasis then is on preservation.

The benefits of living in a heritage conservation area can be that property values increase. New developments are possible, but must be sympathetic in design and fit in with the streetscape. This is not just for those building alongside the heritage listed properties, but those within sight of the heritage listed property. It is also necessary that any extensions contribute to the building and the area.

To have a precinct listed needs cooperation and agreement from the local residents. First the precinct needs to be identified, historical background needs to be investigated and noted. The residents need to understand the

criteria. To assist in heritage listing it was suggested to examine the Council register of Heritage areas. Section 5 of the Local Environment Plan (LEP) has heritage listings of individual items and conservation areas. Once a precinct has been identified contact should be made with council and the Heritage Council.

There were questions about what a precinct looks like. They can be houses in a line or across the road from each other. It was interesting to note that there is some tolerance to houses that may not fit in with the precinct. It was suggested to George St residents that a stock take of buildings needs to be conducted. This should include the physical environment – creek, trees, verge etc. Once information has been gathered residents need to discuss possible heritage listing.

Once an area is heritage listed, precinct planning will provide guidelines for any new developments. This is designed to allow future new developments to fit in with the established character of the area.

If there are any queries contact can be made directly with the Illawarra Branch of the National Trust. The TVC Secretary can provide contact details.

Meeting closed 5.30pm Next meeting: 7th July 2019

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Railway Institute Hall in Thirroul.
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