Save Coogee’s heritage buildings. Extend Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area now.

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Please vote for the immediate extension of the Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area to include the beautiful iconic ’L’ shaped row of buildings scoping from Brook to Dudley Streets, including nos 37, 39 and 41 Dudley Street as well as 144, 146A, 146B, 148 (pictured above) and 150 Brook Street. These buildings are now under very real threat of demolition.

Why save Coogee's remaining heritage?
Over the last few years, residents have witnessed the rampant destruction and systematic disappearance of heritage buildings in the Randwick, Coogee area, with developers tearing down heritage buildings and replacing them with inferior high-density units. Thus, devaluing the heritage and intrinsic character of Coogee and eroding its aesthetic appeal and exclusivity.

These beautifully crafted buildings are irreplaceable. Once they are gone, they are gone, along with our history. If we don’t move now to retain what’s left, we will lose part of what makes Coogee and its environs so historically unique.

Creation of Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area
Community concern for the heritage of our buildings is now widespread and growing. To conserve our valuable heritage buildings and protect them from developers, Randwick City Council has recently created the Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area. The buildings already listed include nos 38, 40, 42, 44 and 46 Dudley Street, Coogee and 122 Mount Street Coogee.

URGENT Extension of the Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area
Randwick Council has since proposed an extension of this to include the beautiful iconic ’L’ shaped row of buildings scoping from Brook to Dudley Streets, including nos 37, 39 (pictured above and under threat of demolition) and 41 Dudley Street as well as 144, 146A, 146B, 148 (also under threat of demolition) and 150 Brook Street. These handsome architectural structures, in tandem with St Brigid’s Church form a historical and harmonious streetscape, not marred by unsightly units.

Through their distinctive aesthetic qualities, original architectural detail and internal layout, these buldings exemplify the early 1900’s and inter-war architectural style exceptionally well. They are an intact example of our cultural heritage and a historically significant snap-shot in time of the unique character of Coogee. These dwellings have been described ‘as having heritage values that contribute to the Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area’ so it is essential that they be retained as a consolidated group of buildings.

How developers have gotten away with destroying Coogee's heritage so far
Recent events have brought to light the ease to which developers can destroy these valuable buildings. It seems that a developer now no longer needs to obtain Council approval to demolish existing dwellings. If the proposal ticks all the boxes as a ‘complying development’, developers can deliberately use this loophole to try to devalue heritage properties by attempting early demolition.

It is alarming to learn that now, all a developer has to do to obtain a private Principal Certifying Authority and to tick it off as a complying development, is to bulldoze it. Then it automatically classifies as a 'complying development' and there is nothing that Council or anyone can do.

An example of this occurred late last year, Saturday 8th December 2018 as residents were outraged to witness ceiling and carpets being stripped out of 148 Brook Street, Coogee. This, just days before Randwick City Councillors were to vote on whether to proceed with an interim heritage order for this building. The property had already been rated as significant, warranting local heritage listing in terms of the historic and aesthetic criteria of the NSW Heritage Office and was due for an interim heritage order, which it has since received.

It seemed that the developer deliberately contravened the interim heritage order by beginning demolition to reduce the heritage value of the place and thus force it to be a 'complying development'. Now no 39 Dudley Street (pictured above) is also earmarked for demolition.

Why Coogee has lost much of its heritage so far
In the past, Council have been neglectful in not adequately addressing heritage protections in the Randwick area in a thorough and timely manner, resulting in local heritage properties being open to destruction.

Also, despite community outrage, developers have gotten away with destroying these buildings by fast tracking demolitions. Attracted by the postcode and fast profits, the developers have replaced beautiful historic buildings with bland cheaply constructed high density units.

How to protect these buildings from the developers’ bulldozer now
The updating of the Heritage Listing to incorporate a set heritage conservation precinct aligned with the Church has been long overdue. It is crucial to get these homes heritage protected immediately, so we can force developers to follow due process and to submit a Development Application to Council’s Planning department where it will have to be properly assessed.

The community has now been galvanised and has made it resoundingly clear that we need to protect our heritage buildings before it is too late. It clearly wishes to hold on to what remains of the wonderful older dwellings and gracious apartments within our area that are constantly under threat.

How you can help
Please sign and share this petition for the immediate extension of Dudley Street Heritage area to include protection of these buildings and to halt any further demolition, specifically 148 Brook Street Coogee and 39 Dudley street (pictured) which are under imminent threat of demolition.

The issue of retaining heritage requires leadership and commitment from the community and all Council members if we are to retain a multi-faceted, rich architectural heritage in the Coogee/Randwick area. We require that these properties be immediately added to the Heritage Register for Randwick Council.

 


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