New South Wales
Thank you for relisting the project for public submissions - last year when I provided a submission you indicated to me that any public consultation had already taken place. Although no one in the community seemed to know about the demolition of Lady Hall at the North Sydney Demonstration School and which you make no mention in the head line comments (misleading???) .
I am writing in relation to the proposed upgrade of North Sydney Public School (formerly named Lady Hay School) and the demolition of the ‘Lady Hay Hall’ (Refer to ‘History of Waverton’ below). I believe there is an oversight to your proposal, as the Lady Hay Hall has significant heritage and community value to our neighbourhood. Our heritage is the places, objects and stories that we as a community have inherited from the past and want to protect for future generations.
On searching the NSW Heritage database it states that three buildings at the North Sydney Demonstration School are listed on the SINSW Section 170 Heritage and Conservation Register - ‘North Sydney Public School – Buildings B00A, B00D and B00F, Gates and Period Fence’ (Item No. 5065652). The listing only applies to the buildings and not the whole site. The following extract from the Statement of Significance is from the updated DoE Heritage and Conservation Register listing sheet (Extent Heritage, 2019): “North Sydney Public School has a collection of prominent elements from the 1890s through to the 1930s. The current school grounds are historically significant as a diverse, layered assemblage of landscape features from the Colonial and Interwar periods. The design and proportion of public-school buildings reflects the aspirations of the Education Department to provide high quality educational facilities for communities on the North Shore. The sandstone and wrought iron gate and fence are rare elements of estate housing in Sydney in the late nineteenth century. The aesthetic considerations of the school are held in appreciation by the school staff and NSW Education Department.’
The North Sydney Council Development Control Plan (DCP) 2013 provides guidance on provisions for design and development controls that should be considered when developing the design for the school. It appears that you are utilising Clause 11 of SEPP State Significant Development, so Council’s DCP does not apply allowing you to BULLDOZE our Community’s 90 year old school hall. Given the large site (1.9 hectares) there is plenty of space to erect a new school hall without taking away our existing hall– ie carpark, dilapidated basketball court.
I have not been consulted, nor by neighbours, or heritage planners at North Sydney Council or anyone I have talked to in my Community about the School’s impending upgrade. We as parents of the school have been locked out of the school for over 18 months and have limited communication.
History of Waverton
The suburb of Waverton is on the traditional land of the Cammeraygal people. The bush and rock outcrops at Balls Head still feature carvings and other archaeological evidence of the original owners. As late as 1878, Aboriginal people were camping on the foreshore of Berrys Bay, but as the population and social structure of the original harbour clans had been comprehensively undermined by the early 1800s, it is improbable that this group contained descendants of the Cammeraygal. They may have been people displaced from the south coast of New South Wales, as groups from the south were also gathering at Circular Quay at this time. These people, and probably the Berrys Bay Aborigines, were 'relocated' to La Perouse in the 1880s.
Waverton is located in the North Sydney local government area, on the north side of Sydney Harbour. The suburb extends from Balls Head north to the Pacific Highway. It adjoins the suburbs of Wollstonecraft to the north-west, Crows Nest to the north-east, and North Sydney to the east. It has extensive waterfront areas in Berrys Bay and around Balls Head.
The suburb takes its name from Waverton House, built by Joseph Purser in 1845 on land purchased from Alexander Berry. William Carr and then his widow, Charlotte, owned the house from 1850 to 1865. The Old family owned it from 1865 to1974, when the building was demolished.
The whole of Waverton was part of the 524-acre (212-hectare) Wollstonecraft land grant which also encompassed present-day Wollstonecraft and part of Crows Nest. Edward Wollstonecraft, who was a business partner of Alexander Berry, settled on the north side of the harbour to escape the unhealthy living conditions of lower George Street in the city. He built Crows Nest Cottage around 1821. His partner Berry is best known for his large land holdings on the South Coast at the Shoalhaven River, around the township of Berry.
The Berry estate
Alexander Berry married Edward's sister, Elizabeth Wollstonecraft, and after Edward's early death in 1832, she became the owner of the estate. Upon her death in 1845, Alexander began subdividing sections of the estate. The sale of the land for Waverton House dates from this time. The gradual subdivision over a century from the 1830s to the 1930s profoundly influenced the character of Waverton. As areas were opened for development, each took on the dominant architectural and planning characteristics of the day.
Berry also gave five acres (two hectares) of land to his good friend Reverend WB Clarke in 1870, upon Clarke's retirement as the first rector of St Thomas's Anglican church. Alexander Berry was a great benefactor of Clarke's church, and enjoyed discussing matters of science, philosophy and religion with the renowned amateur geologist.
Elizabeth and Alexander had commenced construction of a large home to be called Crows Nest House in the early 1840s. After Elizabeth's death, Berry lived alone in the house (with a retinue of servants) from 1850 until his own demise in 1873. The land, by then called the Berry Estate was then passed on to David Berry, Alexander's brother. He died in 1889 and the north shore land was inherited by the Berrys' cousin, John Hay.
A sizable strip of the Berry Estate land was given to the colonial government for the construction of the Milsons Point to Hornsby railway, completed in 1893. The completion of Waverton railway station (then called Bay Road station) added to the commercial attractiveness of the land at Waverton, and Hay put several large subdivisions on the market. Amidst economic depression little was sold. In 1904 further subdivisions were created, with wide streets.
Subdivision proceeded more rapidly under Hay's ownership. After he died in 1909, Lady Hay approved further sales in 1911, 1913 and 1921.
She died in 1931. There were three more subdivisions around Crows Nest House, subsequently called the Lady Hay estate, in 1931, 1932 and 1934. The housing stock on these various subdivisions changed from large Federation era homes to a mix of interwar Functionalist and Old English styles. The North Sydney Demonstration School (originally called the Lady Hay School) was built in 1931 and Crows Nest House was demolished in 1933.