Church for sale

Uniting ChurchThe church on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Mowbray Road West is up for sale with the site around it slated for typical Lane Cove high-rise development.
The site is within the current Lane Cove Council area. The church and graveyard are State Heritage Listed items. Whilst it is possible to demolish a Heritage listed item it would be most unusual, given the good condition (we think) of the building. Of similar concern is the outcome for the cemetery on the site. This corner was developed early in Willoughby’s history (when the current Lane Cove Council area was within the Willoughby Council area – known then as the River Ward of Willoughby). The cemetery contains the headstones of many Willoughby/Lane Cove pioneers.
We are not familiar with the Lane Cove Planning Legislation. In Willoughby, listed Heritage sites are granted unfettered FSR (development potential) as long as any proposed development respectively addresses the heritage item.
Wonder if Lane Cove Council is still in existence when the development proposal is lodged?
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7 thoughts on “Church for sale

  1. From a resident:

    On your agenda is the eventual demolition of the Church on the corner of Mowbray Rd and Pacific Highway. My God, what next? There’s a mention of Lane Cove Council but it seems it’s also an issue for Willoughby Councillors, as copied above. Regardless, where and when does the high rise development in this area stop? What are we becoming? Just a rancid mob living on top of each other? When will someone say enough is enough. Have a look at that beautiful building; you are all overseeing the destruction of this area and should be ashamed.

    Total disgrace.

  2. To whom it may concern

    Thank you for raising your concerns regarding the future of Chatswood South Uniting Church on your website. A member of the public has brought these concerns to our attention, and I would like to clarify the opportunities and limitations for the site on behalf of the Heritage Division of NSW.

    Chatswood South Uniting Church and Cemetery is listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR Item No. 694) and is afforded statutory heritage protection under the Heritage Act 1977 (the Act). Similarly, the church (Lots 1 and 2, DP 628241) is listed on the Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 as an item of local heritage significance and is therefore afforded further statutory protection under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. There are no intentions to amend these heritage listings.

    Any proposed development on the site will require approval under both Acts. This is to ensure that development is undertaken in a manner that is both sympathetic and respectful to the heritage values of the state significant item. In considering a development application, the Heritage Council’s primary concern is to ensure that future change will not detrimentally impact the significant heritage values of the item. It is very unlikely that demolition of the church would be approved. According to our records, an application for redevelopment of the site has not been received. Lane Cove Council also advise that they have not received a development application for the site.

    Following a number of complaints received from members of the public, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has contacted the real estate agents responsible for advertising the sale of the building, and advised them of the listing of the church on both the State Heritage Register and the Local Environmental Plan. The agents have been asked to amend their sale listing to remove any reference to redevelopment, and to appropriately advise any prospective buyers and developers of their responsibilities under the Act.

    I hope this advice is of assistance. If you have any other concerns or queries regarding the Church, please to do hesitate to contact me on the below number.

    Kind regards

    Nina Pollock
    B.Des (Arch), M. Herit.Cons.
    Heritage Assets Officer
    Heritage Division
    Office of Environment and Heritage

  3. Can not believe the sale of this beautiful church . I was married there my children christened there then my daughter got married there in 2010. I thought it would have been heritage listed and couldnt be destroyed. What a terrible world it is becoming

  4. Sydney has has very few historical buildings and cemeteries, can we not preserve this one in its entirety and redevelop some other site.
    I for one went to Sunday school,fellowship and church on Sunday at this church and lived in Mowbray Road for half of my life.

  5. If that church is destroyed it will mark a new low in the sensibilities of developers, State Government, local council and community will. What on earth is going on!? I am furious at this government’s deliberately facilitating the destruction of environmentally sensitive land and beautiful and historic buildings in order to make money. Mike Baird should be ashamed of himself. What a legacy!

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