October 13 Speaker on Conservation

Conservation house
Douglas St, Chatswood

Come along to our General Meeting at the Willoughby Room in Chatswood Library at 2 PM. Listen to a Willoughby Council Heritage Planner talk about Willoughby’s vast Conservation Areas, Heritage listed buildings and Council’s plans for the future recognition of the Heritage of Willoughby.

Visitors welcome.

Guest Speaker: Ian Arnott the Planning Manager at Willoughby City Council made a presentation on Council’s new heritage processes covering Willoughby’s vast Conservation Areas, Heritage listed buildings and Council’s plans for the future recognition of the Heritage of Willoughby. Ian’s new role covers certification, building matters and heritage listing.

Ian opened with some history on the current development controls, then went onto presentation on the new heritage controls. Ian opened speaking to a map of the heritage listed items/areas in Willoughby City and the Heritage Conservation Areas. In Ian’s 24 years at Willoughby History it was the National Trust that was the primary body concerned with heritage listing in the 1960s. Around the mid-1980s, following the Environmental & Assessment Act there was a move to site specific or area specific environmental plans, such as the Griffin Conservation Area in Castlecrag.

In 1995 Council created a Consolidated Local Environmental Plan (LEP) that brought together the various heritage provisions in the form that we see them today. The 1979 Act also had provision for Development Controls that defined how conservation of the heritage items was to occur. The current Controls are in Willoughby Conservation Plan Part H of which covers Heritage conservation items.

More recently the State Government has created the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Plan that created three cities has specified the district plans that area areas were required to address. Willoughby City is within the Northern District Plan. During 2017 Willoughby Council prepared various plans that recognized the heritage elements of the city, while seeking higher density areas that would enable lower density heritage areas to retain their existing character, For the next five years Willoughby has a target of 13,500 new dwellings and over the next 20 years there will be expanded density targets. Particular attention has been given to the local suburban shopping centers.

The heritage register defines State Heritage items and Local Heritage items, the former being items listed on the State Register. The controls on State Heritage items are far more stressful than local heritage items. Any changes that occur much respect the heritage elements of the building.

In terms of Conservation Area the issues are more about street scopes, so there ae more lenient controls on changes to buildings. A State Environmental Development Control can enable development that overturns Council controls, but they do not apply to heritage items. Council has largely been removed from the process of managing controls in recent years.

State Heritage items have enhanced ability to obtain State Government Grants for maintenance or upgrading the item. Under the Local Environmental Plan there is consideration regarding the impact of the development in terms of heritage impacts on neighboring properties. In terms of development on State Government’s land, it can override heritage listings by Council, as has happened in several instances at Royal North Shore Hospital.

A recent heritage review undertaken by Willoughby Council sought to identify any items considered to have potential for heritage listing. This may occur as a result of proposals by Council officers or members of the public. There are dangers in trying to utilize heritage as a means of stopping developing, for some areas without due merit being listed as a Heritage Conservation Area. The review focused on mid-20th Century architecture. Two Conservation Areas were put forward, one that had previously been considered in the Artarmon area and found to be not worthy; and in West Chatswood, which was recommended but is awaiting a public meeting to address this item. The next step is to go to State Government to assess its heritage qualities.Heritage Conservation Areas have moved from character issue to controls.


Latest News

As you can SEE BELOW the Society holds various events throughout the year. This includes:

  • General Meetings at the Willoughby Room, Willoughby City Library at The Concourse, commencing at 2.00pm on the second Saturday of even months (except December). 
  • Historic talks: There is a guest speaker at each of the General Meetings.
  • Special exhibitions at the Museum during Heritage Week and Willoughby’s Emerge Festival
  • A variety of local group walks (available on request).

Past events

Cavalcade of Fashion – 2017





1920s Evening Gown

The Art of Fashion: 1920s Evening Gowns

Sunday 8th October 2017 1:30pm
Wiloughby Unitng Church
10 Clanwiliam St, Wiloughby

Cost: $25
High Tea will follow the presentation

Bookings and tickets: Mary Thom : email: mdt@optusnet.com.au  Phone: 9419 5851

Our collection of beaded and embellished 1920s evening dresses stunningly illustrates the influences of the post-World War I Art Deco design, the Paris avant-garde, haute couture designers and artists, and the artisan embroiderers who made such creations.
The Cavalcade Collection features a large collection of stunning 1920s beaded and embroidered evening dresses. At this presentation Cavalcade will take the audience on a journey back in time to the 1920s, a decade of elegant fashion, liberated women and inspired designers, artists and artisans. Hear about these design influences, the embroidery ateliers and the techniques of machine and hand beading.
The gowns, on hangers, will be walked through the audience during the presentation by white gloved assistants so audience members can get a closer look at the details of these gowns.

The Cavalcade of History and Fashion is a collection of original historic gowns and accessories with provenance, dating from the 1700s preserving Australia’s social and fashion history

‘Meccano Day’ at the Museum


Our friends at the Meccano Club will be back in action with their creations based on the new-era Meccano sets now availanlre.

Adults $5, concession $4, children $2; family $10.

Saturday 8 October, General Meeting, the Willoughby Room, Chatswood Library

Commencing at 2.00pm on the second Saturday of even months (except December).