Public Meeting about R J Williams Lodge, 274-6 Glebe Point Rd

The Wesley Mission lodged an application before Christmas for this former aged persons’ hostel, originally built in the sixties as a motel. The timing could have been better; there was considerable resentment that the Mission should have lodged during the holiday period, and without prior consultation, and in response to the concerns of members the Society organised a meeting for 27 January. Word of this meeting was widely circulated, and it became a de facto public meeting attended by about forty people, mainly residents close to the Lodge.

The resentment was certainly in evidence in the questioning of the four applicants who attended, including the architect, Royden Metcalf, and three Mission representatives. Naturally there was disappointment that the building, designated by Council as one of three significantly detracting structures in Glebe Point Rd, should not be reduced in bulk and height; but there was also major concern that the proposed use, affordable housing, would generate a significant need for parking, and this was not being provided on site.

The Society included increased parking provision as a major item in its consequent submission, along with the many other concerns raised at the meeting.

Durham Court, 417 Glebe Point Rd

Lodged about the same time was an application for ten townhouses, of four or six bedrooms, and twenty parking spaces.

While it is widely regarded as an improvement over the previous application for forty boarding house rooms, this application attempts to use the previous approval to claim additional floorspace and height. Unsurprisingly, it is the same architect who exceeded Council controls in previous applications, spanning about a decade.

The Society asked for all the protections for nearby residents gained in previous discussions to be included, at the same time as objecting to the excessive density and height.

Former Nurses’ Home, 184 Glebe Point Rd

Here at last was an application for Glebe Point Rd to which the Society could give its approbation. At the rear of St Helens and the new Community Garden is a structure built on pillars in the seventies that served as a Nurses’ Home for the Homoeopathic Hospital (you can read the story of this unique hospital in the Pocket Parks Walk on the Glebe Walks website). Before Glebe was transferred to the City in 2003 Leichhardt Council had allowed this building to be used for artists’ studios, but had never given this use formal approval. The City has now applied to make this use official. Artists can apply to the City for the use of one of these rooms for various periods.