Last-ditch appeal to stop demolition of Hotham House

Opponents of ongoing moves to demolish historic Hotham House at Kirrawee have just one week left to lodge a submission.

The public exhibition of plans by Macquarie Health Corporation for a major redevelopment of President private Hospital, including the demolition of Hotham House, ends on February 3.

Feedback will be considered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which is assessing the proposal as a State Significant Development.

Residents from the Kirrawee-Gymea area and members of Sutherland Historical Society gathered outside the property at short notice on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to the the proposed demolition.

Historical society president Pauline Curby said residents were also concerned about the the size of the proposed President Private Hospital development, the traffic it will generate and the impact on privacy.

The historical society and Gymea historian Kim Hatherley are making detailed submissions.

Ms Hatherley said, "Because Gymea and the shire has lost so much of its pre-1920 built environment, it's important to try and preserve the remainder".

"It goes beyond a sentimental attachment.

"Hotham House is a particularly fine example of Federation and Californian bungalow styles and is also very significant because it was part of the largest poultry farm in the state and possibly the country.

"It's not impossible to marry the health needs of the shire and our heritage.

"There are plenty of other institutions which have managed to combine both."

Ms Curby said the historical society had been surprised to learn just before Christmas that Macquarie Health Corporation was still planning to demolish the building despite the state government approving its heritage listing in April 2020.

Macquarie's late move to add mental health facilities to the project had caused a lot of conjecture, she said.

"We don't believe it should be a case of 'We have to knock Hotham House this down to have mental health facilities'," she said.

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