by Brian Fuller, 1 August 2020

The Society is disappointed with the City of Sydney’s decision to approve the DA by which the Wesley Mission proposed to re-purpose the building at 274-276 Glebe Point Rd Glebe. The DA sought to vary the usage of the building from a much-needed aged care facility to a boarding house.

There are no residential aged care facilities in Glebe or Forest Lodge. Residents who wish to ‘age in place’ are currently unable to remain in our Glebe / Forest Lodge community.

There were 107 submissions to the DA, the majority of which are probably objections. The Glebe Society, while supportive of proposals that provide needed social and affordable housing, was unable to support the DA as submitted. The basis of the objection was the change of use, its over-intensification, breaches of the FSR and height restrictions, and also the lack of off-street parking.

Artist’s impression of the repurposed RJ Williams Lodge (image: City of Sydney)

In approving the DA, the City indicates that the compliance with the building height and floor space ratio is unreasonable or unnecessary in this case.

Whilst approving the DA, the City rejected the Plan of Management, and a new Plan is to be submitted. It is noted in the conditions of approval that the new Plan of Management is to be reviewed after two years alongside public consultation.

Fully occupied, this will be a crowded building, with many living in a 16m2 room as their home. The Plan of Management will need to address the resultant social implications, and in this new world we are experiencing, pandemic control measures.

The building is to be used only as a boarding house and operated by a registered social or community social housing provider pursuant to the definition in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.

Here is a link to the Letter of Approval dated 1 July 2020:

Here is a link to general information about boarding houses under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009:

The building is now able to offer low cost accommodation to singles, retirees, students and young couples as their principle place of residence for three months or more. Backpacker accommodation is not included.