On 22 March the President and Convenors of the Planning and Heritage Subcommittees met with Nigel Fox, Development Director of Visionland. This was the second meeting, and we would expect a development application to be lodged within a month or two.

The discussion was wide ranging. Bidura itself, including everything fronting Glebe Point Rd, is already protected as a City of Sydney Heritage Item, but will be given maximum protection by being made a State Heritage Item. When this part of the site is sold, a condition of sale will include public easements that will guarantee continued public access to the site, both from Glebe Point Rd and from the new development at the rear. The buildings and gardens will be fully restored and interpreted.

The remainder of the discussion focussed on the measures taken to ensure future development conforms to the judgement delivered by the Court last year. The developer will produce elevations from Glebe Point Rd showing that no part of the new structure will be visible above the roofline of Bidura, and will also produce drawings of elevations from Avon St. The proposed development is much smaller than any under way in Glebe at the moment, such as those in Cowper St and Wentworth Park Rd, and only a tiny fraction of the one at Harold Park. The total of dwellings is about 80, including the nine terraces at the rear, all with three bedrooms, and a mix of apartments, mainly two bedroom with some one bedroom apartments. The rooflines will be adjusted to prevent overshadowing of houses in Ferry Rd. A turntable will be installed in the basement so garbage trucks cause the least possible disturbance to neighbours. Parking spaces for Bidura will be included in the basement.

The developer will produce elevations from Glebe Point Rd that show no part of the new structure is visible above the roofline of Bidura.

At the Society’s suggestion, the developer agreed to include details of demolition procedures with the Stage 1 DA, so neighbours will be able to see the methods used and how they will be affected. The existing driveway beside Bidura will be used during the demolition stage, with appropriate protections.

Artist’s impression of the rear of the proposed Bidura redevelopment (image: http://visionland.com.au/357-glebe-point-road-glebe/)

However, the proposal is still higher than the Society (and Council) would like: seven storeys, rather than five, although it should be remembered the existing five storey heights are commercial, and 500mm higher than residential heights.

Anyone who feels anxious about the proposal, or that they are likely to be adversely affected, should ring or email Nigel Fox and discuss their concerns. Nigel Fox’s contact details are: (02) 8188 6000; 0407 664 839, and nigel.fox@visionland.com.au.