Image for Church, Hall and House

An application for partial demolition (including house and annex), alterations and new auditorium at 43-47 Grosvenor St. Sandy Bay was recommended for refusal by Hobart City Council officers at Monday night’s Development and Environmental Services Committee (DESC).

The committee voted to uphold the officers’ recommendation.

Despite the applicant’s assurance that the new auditorium would ‘sit quietly’ in the street the heritage value of the house targeted for demolition held sway.

Wellspring Anglican Church is experiencing such growth in attendance that services are already held in the hall, which is much larger than the church, but still not big enough. No-one seems to be able to put the church to good use;  community groups have either psychological or physical reasons for regarding it as inappropriate for their activities.

Wellspring’s 21st century style congregation would like a place of worship to match. The present congregation includes some who came to the former St Peter’s Church from the Parish of St John the Baptist in West Hobart and also from the Parish of the Holy Trinity. There was some sympathy from aldermen for the results of smaller congregations combining, but little for the on-site solution of demolishing a heritage listed house.

Thus the application was rejected, at least at DESC level. The motion to uphold the refusal will go to full Council next Monday evening.

What Streetscape?

More successful at DESC was the application for partial demolition, dwelling extension and alterations at 30 Clarke Ave, Battery Point. Again the Council officers recommended refusal, most strongly on the grounds of the effects on the streetscape and heritage values.

Alderman Harvey noted that he often walked along Clarke avenue ‘eyeing off ‘ its waterside properties. 

Given the applicant’s description of them he need feel no envy. They were, he said,  part of a 1930s subdivision, built on precipitously steep land, and facing the wrong way in relation to the sun’s warmth and light. Going downstairs, on the street-side, could be like ‘going down into a dungeon’.  Nor was the shore-side conducive to outdoor relaxation, given the southerly aspect.

The proposed changes are to the street-side of the house and include a bay window to replace an existing one, removal of a section of the roof in order to create a roof void to allow sun and light into the centre of the dwelling and an enclosed, glazed walkway connection with a flat roof and fixed glass walls between the basement level of the carport/garage and the house, as well as an open, glazed, gable roof walkway connection between the carport and the dwelling.

Alderman Haigh, Chairman of DESC described the proposed changes to this particular house as an attempt to make it more ‘liveable’, and for this there was a consensus of approval on the committee.
In relation to the streetscape, it was pointed out by the applicant that the proposed changes would in fact bring the property into line with other recent changes on the avenue.  These amount to a solid line of dense, high fences punctuated by garage roller doors. The visual beauty of these properties is on the open water-side.

As for heritage values, as Alderman Sexton said,  past approvals for incremental changes to this property made the Council heritage officer ‘victim to his own generosity’.  This most recent application was now virtually impossible to resist on heritage grounds.

The heritage officer’s report stated that the house, dating from 1936 and presenting to the street as a modest Inter –War bungalow ‘contains inherent architectural qualities and aesthetic heritage values.’ The report also stated that the house is a ‘simple element within this part of Battery Point and its development should be given careful consideration.’ 

If DESC recommends going against its own officers’  recommendation it must give reasons.  Alderman Sexton, new to DESC, moved for approval so it was his responsibility, according to Haigh, to say why. No reasons were forthcoming at this meeting but presumably will emerge on Monday 14th December, when the last open Council meeting for the year will be held. It will take place at 5pm, upstairs at the Town Hall, Macquarie St. Hobart.

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The House, Church and Hall at 43-47 Grosvenor St Sandy Bay

30 Clarke Ave Battery Point

Clarke Ave Battery Point Streetscape (riverside)