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Rockdale City Council Heritage Conservation Areas Discussion Paper


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Rockdale City Council Heritage Conservation Areas Discussion Paper on public exhibition from 05 November → 18 December 2015.

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Rockdale City Council Heritage Conservation Areas Discussion Paper

  1. 1. Caring about the future by respecting the past A discussion paper on Heritage Conservation Areas
  2. 2. Copyright © Rockdale City Council 2015 All rights reserved. This book is copyright. Other than for the purposes and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of it may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission. Published October 2015 Cover photo: Federation bungalows in Brighton Parade, Brighton Le Sands. Pictured right: Housing estate in Kogarah built on the grounds of the old Moorefield’s Racecourse.
  3. 3. Introduction 5 WHAT DO WE VALUE ABOUT WHERE WE LIVE? 6 Heritage Conservation Areas (HCA) 7 Which places in OUR CITY have the potential to become HCA? 12 What rules would a HCA have? 14 What does it mean for me if my house is in a HCA? 18 What assistance is available for owners of heritage places? 20 What are some options for the next step? 21 How do I make a submission? 22 What will happen next? 22 TABLE OF CONTENTS
  4. 4. Top left: Teralba Road in Brighton Le Sands has many fine examples of Inter-war bungalows. Left: Canary Island Date Palms in Mawson Street. Above: Group of semi-detached Victorian houses in Stanley Street. 4 : Rockdale City Council
  5. 5. Introduction At a recent meeting of Council a report was presented that examined the ways in which heritage is managed by other Councils making a comparison with Rockdale’s own heritage management. The report analysed 12 other inner metropolitan Sydney Councils and showed that Heritage Conservation Areas (HCA) are an effective tool to provide a fair and well-balanced approach to heritage in the context of future growth. In order to invite participation from the community, Council then requested Council officers prepare this Discussion Paper on HCA and place it on public exhibition. Purpose Council cares about the future of Rockdale City and wants to respectfully manage change whilst ensuring our City remains a place of opportunity. This discussion paper is an invitation to think about what it is you value about the place you live. We encourage you to get involved in defining what is important and steering the direction for the future. This discussion paper provides an introduction to HCA as a way of allowing change whilst acknowledging respect for the inherent and special qualities of a place. Paper Outline The paper provides some snapshots of places and events in Rockdale City’s history that demonstrate that every place within the City has its own story. The paper introduces the concept of HCA and answers questions regarding how the HCA will affect existing property owners and residents. It looks at the types of rules that could accompany HCA if they were introduced. Finally the paper will look at options for a way forward. For example, one direction for the future may be to discover the values held in high esteem by the community through a series of workshops. 5HCA Discussion Paper :
  6. 6. Through time every community contributes to shaping its environment. This rich history of action, activity and stories contributes to how we all interpret and recognise it as a ‘place’. In reality, we can say the structures, spaces, homes, neighbourhoods, centres and inhabitants define and distinguish a place. As much as a place is defined by its environment, surroundings, social and built structures and organised spaces, a place also belongs to a period of time, its events, and dreams. The enduring qualities of a place that draw people back to it often respond to its intangible qualities such as: ambience, sense of history, vitality and character. This appreciation and understanding gives our ‘place’ personal and collective meaning. WHY HERITAGE IS AN IMPORTANT COMMUNITY ASSET People are very proud of their local history, but don’t always express how much they value a place until it’s threatened. Because it adds character and distinctiveness to an area, heritage is fundamental in creating a ‘sense of place’ for a community. Our understanding of the heritage of a ‘place’ can have a very positive influence on many aspects of the way its special qualities develop. Regeneration, housing, education, economic growth and community engagement are examples of the ways in which heritage can make a very positive contribution to community life. Appropriate sensitive development and adaptive reuse of older buildings is an important factor WHAT DO WE VALUE ABOUT WHERE WE LIVE? in supporting the concept of sustainable communities. An appreciation of the heritage qualities in existing buildings and their surroundings can add value to regeneration projects, both in terms of the economic and environmental advantage of reuse over new build and in adding character to a precinct. A shared understanding of the unique cultural identity of heritage places is a good way of providing a common ground bringing communities together. Areas where the heritage is understood and valued tend to be better looked after than those where heritage items have no link with the community. Such links help to foster civic responsibility and citizenship and contribute to everyone’s quality of life. A recent demolition of a Federation bungalow in the Ocean View Estate in Bexley resulted in a petition to Council from the residents of Dunmore Street and Gladstone Street: “...we are proud to be a part of a street that has historic significance. There is truly a sense of unity here by proud owners most of whom reside in period style home(s) with historic significance. What we want to see is continue that pride and unity and have Council embrace this...” (Trim ref. 13/109928) 6 : Rockdale City Council
  7. 7. A Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) aims to protect the things we value as a community whilst ensuring there is plenty of room for opportunity. It is a way of managing change that allows development but ensures it is sympathetic with the local character we cherish. A HCA is a special area that has been defined after a long process involving those people with an interest in the area. Protecting special qualities, such as the character of a streetscape, is managed by all those in the street. This is different from the heritage item process which only applies to individual properties. HERITAGE CONSERVATION AREAS (HCA) WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HCA AND A HERITAGE ITEM? Heritage items are individual properties that have heritage value in their own right. They can be listed as heritage even when there are no other heritage properties around them. A HCA is a collection of places that together have heritage value but individually may not. The value of a HCA is often focussed upon the streetscape therefore more substantial changes to individual buildings can be made to the rear or to the interior. WHAT IF I AM IN A HCA BUT MY HOUSE DOES NOT HAVE HERITAGE CHARACTER LIKE THE REST OF THE STREET? The houses that do not fit in with the character of a HCA can usually be removed or altered. Any development then becomes known as ‘infill’ development because it needs to fit in with the street and heritage character when it fills in the space left behind. Not heritage items Not heritage itemsHeritage item 7HCA Discussion Paper :
  8. 8. WHAT IF MY HOUSE IS ALREADY A HERITAGE ITEM? The Heritage Items that are already listed in the Rockdale Local Environmental Plan would continue to be listed as Heritage Items. If a Heritage Item was located in a street that became a HCA then the individual heritage listing could be reviewed. If the heritage listing was based upon the streetscape value of the property it may not be necessary to keep the heritage listing. For example in Teralba Street there are a large number of Heritage Items but it is the collective values of the street which are significant. If the street became a HCA then there is a possibility that individual Heritage Items could be delisted and their heritage significance protected through the HCA. HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM GOING TO BE IN A HERITAGE AREA? At this stage no areas have been nominated although some areas were identified in previous heritage studies. For more details see part 6 of this paper. If Council decides to go ahead with investigating potential HCA there will be further research including information gathering and community workshops. At the end of the information gathering potential HCA may be nominated at which point Council will again ask for public submissions. The process of identifying HCA has several steps where the community will have the opportunity to be involved and influence the outcome: 1. Making a submission to this discussion paper; and 2. Participating in the community workshops to identify potential HCA; and 3. Making a submission during the statutory process to make the HCA; and 4. Making a submission during the process to create guidelines in the Rockdale Development Control Plan (DCP). WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO BE IN A HERITAGE CONSERVATION AREA? Now is the time to have your say. Tell us what you think about the concepts raised in this paper. If you have an opinion about HCA or any other issues raised in this discussion paper, then making a submission will ensure your views will influence the outcome. DO OTHER COUNCILS HAVE HCA? Throughout Sydney and NSW HCA are an accepted method of protecting areas with special character. HCA comprise large areas of many local government areas and these have been in place for many years. Councils with HCA have special guidelines in their DCPs to assist with development and making change. In many areas the management of careful change has contributed to the established character being respected and properties in these areas reaching premium value in the market place. 8 : Rockdale City Council
  9. 9. DOES BEING IN A HCA AFFECT PROPERTY VALUES? There are many factors influencing property values, of which heritage is only one. Broader economic factors influence market values as well as factors such as availability of services like schools and transport or planning considerations such as zoning and density controls. Some areas are more susceptible to a push for urban consolidation such as the inner city. In July 2012 English Heritage (UK) published the findings of a lengthy study that examined sales figures of 1 million properties located in, or close to, heritage conservation areas over a period of 5 years. The report showed that houses in conservation areas sold at a premium and improved in value at a greater rate when compared to similar properties outside conservation areas. Heritage Victoria (Australia) has analysed Australian research on the subject of the effect of heritage listing on property values. The results of this study showed that there was either no impact from heritage listing residential properties or there was an increase in value after heritage listing. These findings are reflected in the Real Estate pages of Australian newspapers. 60% 40% 20% 70% 50% 30% 10% 0% Approximate Proportion of HCA to Local government Area size Leichhardt Ashfield Marrickville Strathfield Canada Bay Canterbury Bankstown Rockdale Burwood Randwick Kogarah Botany Bay Sutherland Hurstville 60% 50% 25% 25% 25% 10% 7% 5% 5% 5% 0% 0% 0% 0% 9HCA Discussion Paper :
  10. 10. Suburb focus: Haberfield (by Lucy Macken in Domain, 15 December 2012) The Haberfield HCA was created in 1985, one of the earliest conservation areas in NSW. Since then the median house price has climbed exponentially, with a 66 per cent increase in the past decade, almost double the Sydney-wide growth of 35 per cent. McGrath Inner West real estate agent Michael Tringali explains the attraction: ''Consistency of architectural integrity draws a very house-proud demographic who are prepared to stay for the next 15 years to raise their family, while they restore or maintain their home's Federation character in the knowledge that a two-storey McMansion won't pop up next door.'' Heritage homes sell at a premium (by Chris Tolhurst published in Domain, 15 February 2011) It’s common place today for investors to outbid owner-occupiers at auctions of Federation houses, Victorian terraces and art deco apartments. More often than not, these investors aren’t worried if the property in their sights is included in a local government heritage precinct. The managing director of Wakelin Property Advisory Service, Monique Sasson Wakelin, says Australians are fond of heritage properties and, over many years, have consistently paid a premium to buy or rent them. She is one of a group of market watchers who believe moderate heritage overlay controls have a positive impact on property values. “There is a lot of evidence to suggest (inclusion in a heritage overlay) actually enhances the value of a property,” she says. Whether you are an investor or homeowner, a heritage overlay means people can’t come into the street and put up neo-gothic monstrosities in a row of consistent Victorian cottages. It protects the character and architectural integrity of the neighbourhood.” Supply and demand says inner beats outer (by David Adams published in Domain, NSW, 24 February 2013) “Looking to buy an investment property but not sure where to look? Here are five top tips.” [...] Suburbs and streetscapes that offer a sense of architectural consistency are generally more in demand than those that do not. ''Suburbs with a melting pot of styles - from fibro shacks to 1960s brick veneers and the '90s McMansions - will never hold their value as well as areas with predominantly classic architecture styles such as Federation, Californian bungalows, Victorians [and] art deco,'' Ms Opie says. 10 : Rockdale City Council
  11. 11. WHAT IF THERE ARE NO HERITAGE CONSERVATION AREAS? The current situation would remain the same. Areas where there is unique character and streetscapes of uniform buildings – the attributes that make a place special – would continue to be gradually eroded. Unsympathetic development on one lot in the middle of a group disturbs the uniformity and balance and encourages further unsympathetic change. There would be no certainty for people buying into a neighbourhood for its special character and no guarantees for the existing residents that things would not suddenly change. A submission regarding a demolition of a Federation house in Caledonian Street provoked this response... “Our type of heritage streetscape is disappearing. It would be most positive if this intact pocket of history, opposite a heritage listed park, be duly protected.” (Trim 14/78704) Throughout Rockdale City there are examples of newer, larger houses being built in areas that have an established character. Character defined by rows of similar or identical Federation or Inter-war period houses for example. New buildings often remove one of the original houses and replace it without regard for the existing historic streetscape, disrupting the uniform character of the street. In some cases this has not affected the other residents in the street but in many cases it has caused great concern as people feel they are losing the character that makes their street special. The introduction of HCA would enable policy to be developed to manage change in these special streetscapes. HAS ROCKDALE CITY COUNCIL PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED HAVING HCA? The 1991 Rockdale Heritage Study identified a number of areas that had special historic and streetscape qualities. These precincts have not been made into HCA. The 2010 Heritage Inventory Review also recommended that intact streetscapes of the same period which retain their original character should be included as HCA in the heritage schedule. HOW IS A HERITAGE CONSERVATION AREA MADE? A HCA is defined legally by including it in the Rockdale Local Environmental Plan. Management of the HCA is included in the Rockdale Development Control Plan through guidelines for development in heritage conservation areas. There is a statutory process for making changes to both these documents that includes public exhibition and notification to affected property owners. This Discussion Paper is not part of that process, all property owners affected by any HCA proposals would be notified in a separate process. Caroline Street, Kingsgrove. 11HCA Discussion Paper :
  12. 12. The process for identifying HCA has three parts, which are usually undertaken at the same time: ✦ Historical research. ✦ Field study – investigating what original houses and features are left in an area. ✦ Community involvement. WHICH PLACES IN OUR CITY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME HCA? Some areas were identified by previous studies as areas with the potential to become HCA: ✦ Ocean View Estate, Bexley – Centred on Seaforth Park. ✦ Frederick, Herbert, Ferrier, Watkin and King Edward Streets, Rockdale. ✦ Teralba Road, Brighton Le Sands. ✦ Brighton Parade, Brighton Le Sands. ✦ Farr and Gibbes Streets, Banksia. ✦ Lansdowne and Hamilton Streets, Bardwell Valley. ✦ Wollongong Road, Arncliffe. ✦ Forest Road, Bexley. ✦ Moorefield Racecourse Subdivision, Kogarah. ✦ Rockdale Estate. ✦ Stanley Street, Arncliffe. ✦ Caroline Street, Kingsgrove. Further research and consultation is required before any decisions about these areas can be made. Other areas may become evident as a result of community nominations during the exhibition of this discussion paper. 12 : Rockdale City Council
  13. 13. Farr Street, Banksia This estate was auctioned on 10 November 1884, as the Rockdale Estate. An unknown builder built the original cottages for the company about 1885-6 and on 11 April 1887, the company offered “comfortable well-built brick cottages for £5 deposit”. The auction plan for that sale showed cottages built on Sections 10 and 11 facing Gibbes and Farr Streets. A street alignment survey dated 19 November 1886 recorded that there was a ‘Row of 20 Brick Cottages’ on the western side of Farr Street. A Detail Survey of 10 October 1899 showed that all lots on the west side of Farr Street had been built upon with narrow single fronted cottages. The same type of cottages had also been built on two-thirds of the lots on the east side of Gibbes Street and a little less than half of those on the west side of Gibbes Street. 13HCA Discussion Paper :
  14. 14. WHAT RULES WOULD A HCA HAVE? If a HCA was nominated for its consistent architectural character then it would be this character that would be protected. For example in Gibbes and Farr Street, Banksia the following Development Controls may apply. The blocks in Gibbes and Farr Streets are small, hence their development potential is limited. Alterations are possible by retaining the ridge of the roof in the same position and lifting the rear roof to a flatter pitch. The area in front of the house should be kept clear of structures as car ports in front of the house disrupts the architectural continuity. Detail which distinguishes the group such as original chimneys and arched niches in the verandah walls should be retained. These details could be reinstated where they are missing to improve the appearance of the street. Roof could be lifted for additions at rear Keep front yard clear of cars and structures New window location Keep important elements as: ✦ Original chimney ✦ Angle of front roof ✦ Corbelled blade walls ✦ Arch in blade wall ✦ Open veranda ✦ Separate verandah roof 14 : Rockdale City Council
  15. 15. In a different example the Californian and Federation Bungalows in Lansdowne and Hamilton Streets have wide front facing gable roofs that have a strong repetitive character as they step up the hill from Bardwell Valley. The Lansdowne and Hamilton Streets bungalows have a strong streetscape presence. Some of the key elements worthy of conservation are: ✦ Repetitive roof forms – gable roofs facing the street. ✦ Decorative features such as finials, verandah brackets, leadlight glazing, window awnings with timber shingles, half-timbered gabled ends sometimes with timber shingles, decorative tiles to the risers of the steps to the verandah. ✦ Marseille pattern terracotta roof tiles. ✦ Low brick front fences. ✦ Original chimneys. ✦ Front yard with a central garden path to the house. ✦ It is important that the front fences are kept low and there are no structures such as car ports in the front yards. Inter-war bungalows in Lansdowne Street, Bardwell Valley. 15HCA Discussion Paper :
  16. 16. Pictured right is an example of a Federation Bungalow that has an addition designed to suit the design of the original building. The two storey addition is set back behind the original chimney thus ensuring the retention of the original house. Contributory and Intrusive Buildings HCA consist of ‘intact’ streetscapes of original properties. Original buildings, also known as ‘contributory buildings’, date from the ‘key historic’ period – the most important historical period in the development of the suburb. For example in Hamilton and Lansdowne Streets the original buildings are Californian and Federation style bungalows from the 1910s and 1920s as shown in the images above. There are one or two other buildings in the street that were built at a different time, that do not contribute anything to the aesthetic value of the street and are not part of the key historic period. These buildings are either ‘neutral’ or ‘intrusive’. The DCP will identify which buildings are ‘contributory’ – from the key historic period; and which buildings are ‘neutral’ or ‘intrusive’. Above: Additions to a bungalow in Hamilton Street, Bardwell Valley. Left: A neutral building in Landsdowne Street, Bardwell Valley. 16 : Rockdale City Council
  17. 17. The building in Lansdowne Street is described as ‘neutral’ as it is unlike the contributory Bungalows in the street, but its single storey scale does not intrude into their setting. The established repetitive rhythm of the steep pitched roofs and deeply shaded verandahs of The house in the centre is an example of infill development where the new building complements the adjoining heritage item (on the left). New Buildings in a HCA – Infill Inserting a new building into an intact streetscape is referred to as ‘infill development’ – it is very important to consider the existing context in the design of new infill buildings. When designing a building to fit into an existing historic context, particularly where there is architectural consistency, the following design criteria should be carefully considered: ✦ Character – the qualities of a place. ✦ Scale – the size of a building in relation to other buildings. ✦ Form – the overall shape of a building. ✦ Siting – the position of a building on its lot. ✦ Materials and colour – what the building is made from and how the surfaces are finished. ✦ Detailing – the design of architectural elements. the contributory houses have an architectural consistency which would be broken if a new house without these characteristics was inserted into the street. New two storey buildings would be intrusive because their scale, form and bulk are different from the Bungalows. 17HCA Discussion Paper :
  18. 18. CAN I DEMOLISH AND DEVELOP MY BLOCK? This will depend upon whether your property has been identified as contributory, neutral, or intrusive (see pag 14). If the building is neutral or intrusive it is generally okay to demolish. If your property is located in a HCA you will be required to lodge a development application with Council if you wish to develop your land. WILL I NEED EXTRA REPORTS WITH MY DA? Yes it is likely you will need to have a Statement of Heritage Impact if you are proposing to do a substantial development. In this case heritage will be just another planning consideration, just as acid sulphate soils, traffic or flooding requires specialist reports. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME IF MY HOUSE IS IN A HCA? CAN I ALTER OR ADD ON TO MY HOUSE? Yes you can make alterations and additions depending upon what it is you wish to do. All development requires development consent and will be assessed upon its merits. In a HCA most work that isn’t visible from the street is usually acceptable. It is the additions or alterations to the front that are usually more strictly controlled than other development. This just means the changes have to be sympathetic with the heritage character of the street and locality. A heritage item in Hamilton Street that could be de-listed if a HCA was introduced. 18 : Rockdale City Council
  19. 19. DOES IT MEAN I CAN’T CHANGE ANYTHING? No, being in a HCA does not mean alterations are not possible. The alterations simply need to be sympathetic with the heritage values of the HCA. Examples: 1. Can I enclose my front verandah of my original 1920s bungalow? Enclosing the veranda at the front of an original 1920s bungalow would probably not be approved, particularly if it was one of a long row of similar bungalows. 2. Can I put an addition or a deck at the rear of my bungalow? Removing a lean-to at the rear to add extra rooms or a deck would probably be acceptable as it would not affect the streetscape view. 3. Can I put a new window in the side wall of my original bungalow? Most likely this would be possible as it wouldn’t affect the group. 4. Can I put another storey on my bungalow? This would depend upon many factors such as how far from the front the second storey was proposed. Whether it had the same style of roof and was in a sympathetic design. This type of proposal would need to be carefully designed but there is potential for it to be acceptable. 5. Can I put more rooms on my small Victorian cottage? If the cottage was in a row then building at the rear is likely to be possible. If it is located on a corner then placement and design of additions would need to be arranged so that they did not overwhelm the cottage or other cottages. 6. Can I park my car in the front of my building if it is bungalow or a cottage? Generally all parking needs to be located behind the front building line of the building. WHAT IF I JUST WANT TO DO MAINTENANCE OR SOMETHING MINOR? For maintenance and minor work you will not require development approval from Council. These things will either be exempt, that is not requiring approval, or they might be considered minor and Council can issue a letter giving permission for the work to proceed. 19HCA Discussion Paper :
  20. 20. Free architectural advice Council provides a Heritage Advisor who is available to provide free advice on alterations, additions and maintenance to heritage items. Should the HCA be created then this advice would extend to all the properties within the HCA. WHAT ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE FOR OWNERS OF HERITAGE PLACES? No DA fees for minor development applications Where it is necessary to put a development application into Council for minor works then Council waives the application fees for heritage items. If HCA are introduced then this will be extended to places in a HCA. Assistance with Heritage Reports for minor development Council has developed a template and guidelines to assist applicants in the preparation of heritage reports that may be required as part of an application to Council. With assistance from the Heritage Advisor applicants can use the guidelines to produce their own report and thereby save the cost of professional fees. 20 : Rockdale City Council
  21. 21. WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR THE NEXT STEP? Council is offering the community the opportunity to get involved in deciding whether there are unique or special things about where they live. Feedback from the community will help Council to determine the next steps. Moorefields Avenue, Kogarah. 21HCA Discussion Paper :
  22. 22. Council will consider the submissions made in relation to this Discussion Paper. Depending upon the outcome of the submissions Council will decide upon a course of action. This may be to do nothing or it may be to do further investigation and consultation. HOW DO I MAKE A SUBMISSION? Write to: The General Manager Rockdale City Council PO Box 21 Rockdale NSW 2216 Email: Enquiries: 02 9562 1666 WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? 22 : Rockdale City Council
  23. 23. Historic plans are used in the background research into HCA (Rockdale City Library).
  24. 24.