FINALLY, the wait is over. After three years of cutting through red tape, Hunters Hill Council last night finally resolved to add the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St, Gladesville, as a heritage listed item in schedule 5 of the 2012 Local Environment Plan.
It wasn‚Äôt all smooth sailing however. There was a bombshell when Hunters Hill Mayor Richard Quinn revealed plans had been given to council in a pre-DA meeting, which included the retention of the timber cottage. Cr Quinn said the plans contained provisions for the retention of the cottage ‚Äúin one way or another‚Äù, but ‚Äúnot necessarily‚Äù in situ. It is understood at least one of the plans has the cottage moved from its current position to the podium level of the new development. Despite the revelation, David Kettle from DFP planning consultants, on behalf of the developer Moch Pty Ltd, spoke to the council outlining a gamut of reasons the timber cottage could not remain, and why heritage listing was not appropriate. Cr Gary Bird moved the motion. Mayor Richard Quinn supported the delay a fortnight ago, but voted in favour of the motion last night.
Mr Kettle also revealed the idea to heritage list only certain parts of the cottage was discussed at the pre-DA meeting. The confusion reached its nadir when Cr Peter Astridge foreshadowed a motion to heritage list only certain parts of the cottage, and then voted against the live motion, which was ‚Äúthat the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St be added to schedule 5 of the LEP 2012‚Äù. The motion, as put forward by Cr Gary Bird, was otherwise supported by the rest of the councillors, Meredith Sheil, Mark Bennett, Justine McLaughlin, Zac Miles, Bird, and Quinn. Cr Sheil, who seconded the motion, said the decision on the cottage‚Äôs heritage listing should be made without consideration of the site‚Äôs role in any potential development. ‚ÄúOther considerations are irrelevant to the listing of the cottage at 10 Cowell St,‚Äù Cr Sheil said. ‚ÄúI believe that‚Äôs very important from a heritage point of view.‚Äù Cr McLaughlin agreed with Cr Sheil and welcomed the decision. ‚ÄúThis is the final step in a very long process,‚Äù Cr McLaughlin said. ‚ÄúWe shouldn‚Äôt be looking at anything else other than the building itself.‚Äù
The most recent plan to heritage list the building was delayed a fortnight ago when legal advice surrounding Moch Pty Ltd‚Äôs put and call option on the cottage convinced the council to postpone the listing, in order to better understand any legal ramifications. A spokesman on behalf of Moch Pty Ltd said the developer will continue to work on options for the site. ‚ÄúThe developer, architects and planners on the project have invested considerable time looking at the variety of options for the site, and will continue to work towards the best outcome for all,‚Äù the spokesman said.