Bidura, 357 Glebe Point Road
This controversial proposal dominated the second half of the year, and has been exhaustively covered in the Bulletin. There is an update in this month’s Bulletin.

I remind members that the original Blacket dwelling (1857) and its associated ballroom are State Heritage Items and will be conserved. The concerns are what will happen to the Brutalist Remand Centre (1980) at the rear, and the size, especially the height, of any development that replaces it. The Society has always argued that any new building should not exceed the height of the Remand Centre (five stories).

Glebe Affordable Housing, Cnr Bay and Cowper Streets
As a State Government project, this proposal could not be rejected, only amended. The Society has been a consistent critic of this use of public land for a partially private development, and the height and scale, not to mention the demolition of public housing leaving a vacant site for many years. While there have been some welcome modifications, the development has been approved and will proceed much as it was.

Further Legislative Changes
We have been warned by the Better Planning Network to expect another attempt by the State Government to introduce a new Planning Bill. The previous attempt to replace the 1976 Act was abandoned following amendments in the Upper House. Since then the State Government has relied on its existing powers to force through more changes favourable to developers, but it seem this is not enough. I will report on the content of the Bill when it becomes available.

Councillor Robyn Kemmis
As I have stated already in the Bulletin, there is no doubt Glebe benefited greatly from having an  able local resident and Society member on Council. At her memorial in Foley Park many groups in Glebe and elsewhere spoke of their appreciation for her efforts. She will be difficult to replace. Clover Moore’s full team for the September Council election appeared in the Sun Herald of 17 July.

Progress of Developments
The new childcare centre on The Crescent in Annandale is almost finished, and may be open by our AGM. So may the Tramsheds, where the restored tram has now been installed. Click here for a full account of the lessees .

Construction has begun on the last Mirvac building in Harold Park, and the affordable housing, to be constructed by City West Housing, is about to begin. Council’s work on the new 3.8 ha park is progressing, and planting is about to begin.

The creation of additional shopping areas on the second floor of the Broadway Centre is also likely to be finished shortly.

National Trust
Members may not be aware that Australian Trust members have reciprocal rights in the UK. The UK organisation is much larger, so this arrangement is very advantageous to Australians visiting the UK. Recently we spent three weeks in the South East of England and visited about twenty NT properties. They included castles, houses of all sizes and periods, including the beautifully preserved homes of the famous, magnificent art collections, and spectacular gardens such as Sissinghurst. Not only were we admitted free, but were greeted warmly and chatted happily to the army of volunteers, then ate at the NT restaurants and generally had a really good time. I strongly recommend you join, as a way of supporting conservation in general as well as receiving benefits.