Court refuses redevelopment of historic Sunnyside mansion

Georges River Councillors Nick Katris and Leesha Payor who both objected to the proposed redevelopment of the historic Sunnyside mansion at Kogarh Bay. Picture: Chris Lane
Georges River Councillors Nick Katris and Leesha Payor who both objected to the proposed redevelopment of the historic Sunnyside mansion at Kogarh Bay. Picture: Chris Lane

The Land and Environment Court has refused an application for the redevelopment of the historic Sunnyside mansion at Kogarah Bay.

The developer, Truland Development Pty Ltd, lodged an appeal following the refusal of the Development Application last September by the Georges River Local Planning Panel.

The DA was seeking approval for demolition of existing structures, conversion of the heritage building known as Sunnyside into a dwelling and communal facilities, and construction of a new seven-storey residential flat building with 50 apartments and two levels of basement parking at 186-188 and 190 Princes Highway and 2, 4 and 6 Lacey Street, Kogarah Bay.

Sunnyside is regarded by some as the oldest property in St George and Sutherland Shire. It was built c.1870 and was home to Irish immigrant Matthew Carroll and his family.

In its determination for refusing the DA last September, the Panel concluded that the proposal would have an unacceptable impact upon the heritage significance of the heritage item and its setting due to its overwhelming scale and failure to provide adequate setbacks.

The Panel also stated the proposed development would set an undesirable precedent in terms of relationship to the heritage item for future site planning of neighbouring properties.

The appeal was set down for hearing in the Land and Environment Court on September 28-30.

In a submission to the court, Georges River Councillor Nick Katris, who is an architect, called on the application to be rejected on a number of grounds.

These included excess height and bulk and the impact on adjacent neighbours at the rear of the proposed development due to loss of privacy and bulk.

Cr Katris also objected on the grounds of the impact on a heritage item, the insufficient setback of the proposed development from a heritage item and excessive height and non-compliance with the maxim height limit.

The Land and Environment Court's Commissioner Dickson refused the development application finding the proposal would result in an unacceptable effect on the heritage item, its setting and its significance particularly having regard to the proximity of the new building to the heritage building.

Commissioner Dickson accepted the agreed position of the heritage experts that the proposed development would result in the positive outcomes with the enhancement of the heritage significance of Sunnyside including works proposed to be undertaken in the Schedule of Conservation Works.

"However, on balance I find that the heritage impact to the item from the proposed development is of such detriment that it outweighs the positive benefits arising," the Commissioner said.

Cr Katis hailed the court's decision to refuse the appeal.

"This has been a long time coming but it's a great success for the community," Cr Katris said.

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