Hil­lview at risk

Monthly Chronicle - - Village Voice - KATHY COW­LEY

FOKE has grave con­cerns for the fu­ture of Tur­ra­murra’s ‘Hil­lview’ and the ‘Hil­lview Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion Area’ that bor­ders Pa­cific High­way, Kiss­ing Point Road and Boyd Street.

Neigh­bours liv­ing near ‘Hil­lview’ have told the FOKE Com­mit­tee that they fear Hil­lview's owner the NSW Health Depart­ment, is plan­ning to sell the prop­erty. FOKE is writ­ing to MP Alister Hen­skins ask­ing him to con­firm or deny this. Re­gard­less, it is ob­vi­ous that the NSW Gov­ern­ment has failed to pro­vide the nec­es­sary funds to main­tain the his­toric build­ings and FOKE fears that this bud­get star­va­tion is caus­ing ‘de­mo­li­tion by ne­glect’.

‘Hil­lview’ is a col­lec­tion of his­toric build­ings that were once renowned guest houses dat­ing back to the 1890s as Syd­ney folk trav­elled to Tur­ra­murra on the newly opened rail­way line to hol­i­day there for health respites. The prop­erty in­cludes two ‘guest’ houses and a his­toric garage re­ferred to as the 'Sta­bles’ as well as a cro­quet lawn, stone fence with rem­nants of ex­cep­tion­ally elab­o­rate iron gates and row of sig­nif­i­cant trees.

‘Hil­lview’ is one of Ku-ring-gai’s most sig­nif­i­cant sites and was named be­cause of its mag­nif­i­cent view lines to the Blue Moun­tains and Botany Bay. To­day it cel­e­brates ex­cel­lent views to Pym­ble’s Shel­don For­est, one of Ku-ring-gai’s most sig­nif­i­cant Blue Gum High Forests and Syd­ney Tur­pen­tine Iron­bark Forests.

Re­gret­fully Ku-ring-gai Coun­cil’s staff rec­om­mended that the pro­posed Hil­lview Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion Area not be ex­tended. How­ever on 12 June nine of the 10 coun­cil­lors adopted the res­o­lu­tion to ex­tend and list the Hil­lview HCA. This area in­cludes the old Com­mon­wealth Bank, two Fed­er­a­tion shops with their at­trac­tive roof lines and chim­neys, and the orig­i­nal 1890s chemist on the cor­ner of Kiss­ing Point Road and the Pa­cific High­way.

'Hil­lview' is still one of the largest re­main­ing sites in Ku-ring-gai in pub­lic own­er­ship, and is too im­por­tant to lose. Syd­ney cel­e­brates other her­itage precincts that have been adap­tively reused such as the North Syd­ney's Coal Loader, the Alexan­dria fac­tory in Alexan­dria, and Syd­ney's 'Rocks'.

Surely such a sig­nif­i­cant Syd­ney site as 'Hil­lview' has the po­ten­tial to be trans­formed into a thriv­ing com­mu­nity open space precinct with cafes, and its her­itage build­ings adap­tively reused?

Be­tween the NSW Gov­ern­ment and Ku-ring-gai Coun­cil not only has ‘Hil­lview’ been re­zoned for five storey apart­ments, but also the Lit­tle Vil­lage Park, op­po­site Hil­lview and ad­join­ing Tur­ra­murra Rail­way Sta­tion, which, if re­al­ized, will de­stroy the site's her­itage sig­nif­i­cance.

‘Hil­lview’ and its ex­tended Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion Area are wor­thy of state her­itage list­ing and are too im­por­tant for Ku-ring-gai and Syd­ney to lose.

ACT NOW: Please con­tact your coun­cil­lors and MPs to save our pre­cious Syd­ney Her­itage from sale and re­de­vel­op­ment.

Un­der threat: Hil­lview in Tur­ra­murra

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