WOOLLAHRA Council could significantly hamper any development of Hakoah’s White City site if it votes to heritage-list it on Monday night.
The Hakoah board has been working with council to try and make sure any development proposal would meet council’s vision for the site, but the council’s Urban Planning Committee put forward a recommendation for council to heritage-list a large portion of the property last week.
If that motion is carried on Monday at a full council meeting, then it could cost Hakoah millions of dollars to restore the site and would make it harder for the current board, or any future board, to develop it.
Hakoah president Phil Filler said the committee’s recommendation to the council is totally inconsistent with the decision of the full council from December last year to defer any heritage listing until a Conservation Management Plan was prepared.
“Hakoah has agreed to commission the Conservation Management Plan,” Filler said. “To make a decision prior to having any evidence on the site is irresponsible.”
Maccabi Tennis Club president James Beecher, whose organisation owns a portion of the White City site adjacent to Hakoah’s land, said heritage-listing the site would make development of the site harder than it already is.
“Without knowing what the development is going to be, it would be detrimental for all of us on the site and make the development process a lot more difficult,” Beecher said.
“To develop our site we need to demolish some existing buildings and, even though they might not be directly affected, it would make the development application process a lot more difficult.”
Woollahra councillor Anthony Boskovitz said that no action should be taken that could detrimentally affect the commercial viability of the site.
“There is obviously a cultural significance of the site, but it’s about how you interpret that significance into the new property,” Boskovitz told The AJN.
The White City site.