Council to apply for Interim Heritage Order for Flood Street site
UPDATE: 14 January 2023
An Interim Heritage Order for 34-36 Flood St has been Gazetted. It can be viewed on the legislation website here under the Planning and Heritage category. The Gazettal office publishes an unsigned version of the IHO. Details: https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/gazette
13 January 2023
This week Waverley Council unanimously voted to apply to NSW Heritage for an interim heritage order (IHO) for 34-36 Flood Street, Bondi.
Once issued, the IHO will provide immediate protection of the site from demolition and gives Council 12 months to undertake a detailed heritage assessment of the site to determine if it should be listed as a heritage item (local or state). A preliminary assessment by Council’s heritage officers suggests this building is of both local and state significance.
The site contains the Yeshiva College, formerly the Sydney Talmudical College, and a synagogue designed by world-renowned architect and champion of the Modern Movement, Harry Seidler (1923-2006). It was the only religious building designed by Seidler and is important to the Jewish Community as a school, community centre, and meeting place, as well as a place of worship.
Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said Council is committed to retaining social and scarce educational infrastructure in Waverley to support a resilient community through the provision of spaces in which people can gather and form relationships within the community.
“This historical religious and educational facility has served the Jewish community for more than 60 years and it is critical that this facility is not lost for this community,” Mayor Masselos said.
“We have the support of the Seidler Family, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA), Docomomo Australia, and other interested parties including members of the Jewish community who want to see an IHO put in place.”
The site is zoned ‘SP2 – Infrastructure’ and sites of this type provide crucial social infrastructure, such as education, religious and health facilities, and cultural facilities.
No application for demolition has been received but the site’s owner has lodged a Planning Proposal (PP) to amend the Waverley Local Environmental Plan 2012 by changing the zone of the site to R3 Medium Density Residential, which would allow for the development of an apartment building.
- Council previously resolved not to support this PP, although the state department of Planning and Environment chose to allow this planning proposal to go to Gateway for exhibition and community comment. Last month council made a submission to the Department about the planning proposal with main objections including: The proposal to rezone places a significant 20th Century building at significant risk
- The proposal lacks strategic merit and is contrary to actions in Council’s overarching strategic plan the Waverley Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020 to retain the ‘SP2 Infrastructure’ zone
- Rezoning the site would also undermine the Eastern City District Plan Planning Priorities E4: Fostering healthy, creative, culturally rich, and socially connected communities; and E6: Creating and renewing great places and local centres, and respecting the district’s heritage.
“Council sincerely hopes that in making its determination, the Department will take Council’s lead and refuse this planning proposal’ said Mayor Masselos.
Council’s resolution last night was as follows:
- Notes that on 5 July 2022, Council refused a spot rezoning request for 34-36 Flood Street, Bondi to rezone the site from SP2 Infrastructure to R3 Medium Density Residential.
- Notes that the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment provided provisional Gateway approval for the spot rezoning of the site, in spite of Council’s refusal.
- Approves the submission on the planning proposal for 34–36 Flood Street, Bondi, attached to the report (Attachment 1) to the Department of Planning and Environment, subject to the following amendment:
(a) Page 25 of the agenda – Amend the statement of significance to read as per the statement on page 38 of the agenda, incorporating the amendment in clause 4 below.
- Lodges the interim heritage order attached to the report (Attachment 2) for 34–36 Flood Street with Heritage NSW, subject to the following amendment:
Page 38 of the agenda, paragraph 6 of the statement of significance – Amend to read as follows:
‘Subsequent additions and change of interiors to the building have served to maintain its historic function and role in the Orthodox community. Recent unsympathetic additions to the street frontage detract from the building's aesthetic and streetscape qualities but are at distance from the core building and able to be removed, should the use of the buildings change in the future and the security blast wall not be required.’
- Engages an independent heritage expert to undertake a heritage assessment of the site’s synagogue, which was designed by Harry Seidler.
- Officers prepare a report to Council on whether the building should be nominated for inclusion in Schedule 5 (heritage items) of the Waverley Local Environmental Plan 2012 and the State Heritage Register.
- In preparing the report referred to in clause 6, officers note the information presented by Emeritus Professor James Weirick in his address to the meeting.