Towering opposition to development plan

James Gorman, journalist Inner West Courier - Inner City edition page 23 December 8, 2015

MORE than 140 residents have expressed their opposition to a multi-million dollar development set to overshadow the heritagelisted Bidura villa.

Once home to the Blacket family from 1858-1860, while Edmund Blacket was designing the Great Hall at the University of Sydney, Bidura has become an icon.

But residents and Greens member for Balmain Jamie Parker are concerned for the future preservation of the site due to a 5,550 sq m development – which if approved will significantly overshadow the heritage site.

“This site includes the historically significant Bidura villa … designed in Victorian Regency style by renowned architect Edmund Blacket,” said Mr Parker.

[to read printed article, click on image at right]

“The community is fiercely proud of this heritage property, the last remaining 1850s villa on the eastern side of Glebe Point Road.

“The large site is 5,550 square metres in total and includes a multistorey office block in concrete brutalist style, built by the NSW Government in 1980 and used as a children’s court.

“The development application includes 96 residential apartments in threestorey buildings on the perimeter in excess of nine metres in height, as well as two apartment towers up to 27 metres in height.

“Together, we are calling for the City of Sydney to carefully consider this application and take seriously the issues raised by residents.”

Hands off Glebe founder Dennis Doherty said the development’s additional residents will cause havoc to the area due to a lack of supportive infrastructure.

“There are going to be 96 apartments going in and some of them will be terraces. There will also be parking for 100 vehicles,” he said.

“The issue is the way the streets work. To get to the site you have to drive down Ferry Rd and turn left onto Avon and then left again into a laneway and then into the parking areas.

“This vast increase in traffic is going to choke the streets for residents because there just aren’t enough roads.”

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