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State Significant Development


Blue Gum Community School

Hornsby Shire

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Alterations and additions to, and change of use of, an existing dwelling for the purpose of a child care centre and primary school.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Request for SEARs (1)

SEARs (2)

EIS (22)

Response to Submissions (10)

Amendments (7)

Recommendation (3)

Determination (3)

Approved Documents

Management Plans and Strategies (9)

Reports (3)

Other Documents (8)

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.


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Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.


Showing 1 - 20 of 63 submissions
Name Withheld
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I believe this planning application to change the use of Mt Errington (1 Rosemead Road) from a private dwelling to a Blue Gum school is unsuitable for the following reasons:

* Mt Errington is a notable historic dwelling after which the whole area is named. To change its use to a school will require changes to the fabric which may result in destruction of its historic value eg compliance with stringent health and safety requirement for an educational establishment and I am sure that these concerns have been addressed in more detail in other submissions by those more knowledgeable. It is a quiet residential area and the traffic and noise associated with a school are inappropriate.

*Traffic - this property is situated on the corner of Dural St and Rosemead Road. Access from Peats Ferry Road - the only access avoiding the very steep access via Pretoria Parade, Valley Road and Rosemead Road - requires using William Street or Dural Street. Turning right into Dural Street from Peats Ferry Road is restricted during peak hours and Dural St is one way in parts. William Street is already (pre Covid) reduced to one lane because of commuter parking for most of its length, already causing delays and potential accidents. At its junction with Lisgar Lane there is a chicane and traffic calming bollards which are also challenging.
For those travelling east away from the proposed development Dural Street is one way in a westerley direction for part of its length, rerouting traffic back onto William Street via Lisgar Lane - all residential streets often congested with commuter parking.
The proposed school is on the corner of Rosemead Road and Dural Street. It is a 90 deg bend with limited visibility and close enough to the junction with William Street for there to be a high potential for collisions . The suggestion that prospective parents will walk from public transport is frankly laughable as the closest train and bus interchange is almost 1km away.
The traffic management study that the proposed developers submitted was highly selective and restricted. The study commissioned and paid for by local residents was much more realistic.

* Fire: The proposed development sits at the top of a ridge which abuts the Berowra Valley National Park and Great North Walk. There is enormous potential for bush fire which would funnel up from the valley. William Street and Dural Street are the only egress from the eastern end of the valley, in the event of a fire, for the many residents living in Rosemead Road, Valley Road and other smaller cul de sacs. To put a school there, with nothing in the way, is a big risk. Evacuating even 30 preschool children, even without worried parents, presents a logistical nightmare, in additional to local residents wishing to leave the area.

In conclusion I believe that this development is misguided. I do not know anything about the need for private schooling in the area but I do know that local residents live here because they enjoy the quiet, the bushland setting (some of which would be seriously impacted by the development), the local birds and wildlife etc. Locals living in close proximity and the elderly and disabled residents living in the neighbouring facility would have their quality of life severely impacted and those of us living further away would be impacted by the increase of traffic on already congested streets between it and the main highway, which is already backed up at peak times.
I know there will be other submissions from residents with much more technical information, which have already been submitted in the previous application to Hornsby Council, and I hope that these will be carefully considered and the applicant guided to find a more suitable environment for their school.
Richard McGee
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I am writing to offer my support for the development application SSD-10444 Blue Gum Community School.

I live close by to the proposed development and I'm delighted to see further educational facilities opening in the area.
Hornsby Shire, also known as the 'Bushland Shire' has strong ties to the environment but this is something lacking in the local schools.
The Blue Gum Community School will offer community integrated local education in a beautiful setting, that integrates the environment into the education process.
The current site is an excellent choice for a small preschool and primary school given its location to public transport, ample grounds and functional capacity.
I know of many families (my own included) that hope to send their children to The Blue Gum Community School and given we live within walking distance this will also reduce the environmental impact and traffic on the roads.

I think the school has been diligent in engaging with the local community and incorporating their feedback.
I can see no reason that The Blue Gum Community School should not open and I wish them success with the application.
RYAN Arnold
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I believe this should not go ahead, it will damage the history off the site. Which is in a area noted by Hornsby as place need too maintain history. Also site access is bad with very little movement around parked cars in the street near by. Also been near a bush which if there is a bushfire evacuation could be tricky due too narrow roads and near by residents trying too evacuated at same time. I would hate too see heritage lost in the area just because off this.
James Herbert
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I believe this project is inappropriate on several grounds.

1. Heritage value
1 Rosemead Road is the centrepiece and jewel of the Mt Errington Heritage Conservation area. A commercial operation will inevitably have a significant detrimental effect on the heritage value of the property and the whole of the Hornsby West Side Heritage Conservation Area. Increased paved areas and removal of trees will destroy the unique ambience of this rare and well-preserved vestige of 19th century Hornsby.

Most notably, the 1.8 metre high metal fencing proposed for the rear of the property flies in the face of the Heritage Conservation Area goals of the Hornsby Development Control Plan (2013). Section 9.3.3k states that:

"Traditional fencing materials should be used such as timber, iron, brick and stone. Sheet metal and tubular steel fences should be avoided."

It is easy to envisage how a high metal would effectively destroy the heritage character of the west end of William Street, especially as it would be directly opposite the Heritage listed 1940s Jacarandas on the nature strip between 57 and 61 William Street (Heritage NSW Listing Number 553). Note that these trees are not identified in the Statement of Heritage Impact.

From the 'Statement of Heritage Impact' included in the DA, the building is described as "beautifully maintained and essentially unaltered" and "Architecturally, it is considered to be of State significance and one of the best houses in the Shire". Alterations required to satisfy OH&S and universal access requirements would inevitably undermine this rare state of preservation. In particular:
* Powder coated metal boundary fencing
* Enclosing of the covered porch
* Fire stairs
* Raised balustrade
* Waste enclosure

2. Parking and drop-off
Though off-street parking is proposed, parents and visitors will inevitably park in the surrounding streets, which are already filled to capacity at many times of the week, due to narrow roads and the close proximity to Hornsby station.

Drop-off zones are entirely impractical in the narrow and congested surrounding streets, but some parents will inevitably use the street rather than negotiating the tight and small driveway for drop-off, resulting in real safety concerns. It is difficult to envisage the proposed number of students being dropped off and picked up in the small on-site drop-off zone.

3. Traffic congestion
In practice, William Street provides the only access to the property for most people. The only other access is a long detour via Rosemead Road and Pretoria Parade.

William Street is effectively a single lane road, being very narrow at the Western end and more often than not filled with parked cars at the Eastern end. Travelling the length of William Street already often involves pulling over two or three times to allow oncoming cars to pass.

At peak periods it is already difficult to turn right from William Street onto the Pacific Highway, as traffic is continually banked back along the highway from the main intersection with George Street to well past William Street.

In short, the additional traffic introduced by the proposed operations would cause traffic chaos.
Department of Transport
Chippendale , New South Wales
TfNSW Response
HOMEBUSH , New South Wales
Ausgrid notes that in Appendix "O" utilities Correspondence - Ausgrid is not required to supply the development.
Should this change We recommend the proponent make a connection application to Ausgrid as soon as practicable.
Russell Reed
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I am writing to raise my concerns regarding the development application for the establishment of a pre-school & infants primary school, including after-hours care, at 1 Rosemead Road, Hornsby. If approved, this development would have a substantial negative impact on the Mt Errington heritage area and local residents, and result in real & significant reduction in amenity & increase in risk for local residents and the attending staff, students & their carers.

My key concerns & objections are:
• Inconvenient, inappropriate & illogical location. There is not a particularly high proportion of young couples and families with children in the relevant age groups for this facility in the nearby area. As such, it would be primarily serving people from outside the area (adding to & resulting in the traffic issues detailed below) and therefore seems to be a very illogical, inconvenient & inappropriate location for this type of facility. It would be more appropriate for Government & Hornsby Council to support this kind of development in closer proximity to the larger numbers of couples and young families in areas of medium & high density residential buildings in Hornsby, which are also much more likely to be accommodating young families. The Hornsby area is already very well served for lower age & primary schools, particularly private schools, and it would be much more appropriate to enhance capacity & facilities at existing schools;
• Traffic congestion & disruption. With the proposed development seeking to accommodate up to 80 students and associated staff (estimated to be at least 12-20 given type of facility), it can reasonably be expected there would be close to 80-100 additional cars in and around this residential area. In many instances, there would be multiple movements in and out of the area to accommodate both drop-off and pick-up of children. This would place a very substantial additional traffic load in an area that is not suited to such traffic;
o Dural St and William St are already heavily congested during weekdays, with increasing numbers of cars parking on these streets for commuters accessing Hornsby station, and reducing traffic flow to one way only. In addition, both streets have unusual kinks & narrowed sections, due to having been built around old trees & other features, resulting in ‘chokepoints’. The additional traffic volumes would result in a further worsening of the current situation and present significant challenges to traffic flow for attendants at the facility and residents of the nearby streets;
o Many parents/carers would be likely to seek to park their cars near the facility and walk to Hornsby train station, further exacerbating existing congestion in the Dural St, Williams St, and Rosemead Rd area;
o It is also important to note that large semi-trailers regularly use William St & Rosemead Rd to service the Sydney Water treatment plant at the bottom of the valley – worsening the traffic congestion challenges in this area is likely to present real difficulties & risks for such large vehicles to be able to safely navigate these streets;
o The provision of a proposed ‘kiss & drop’ facility is unlikely to alleviate the above issues, as it is highly unlikely to be able to accommodate the volumes of arriving & departing cars at all times and would likely result in cars queueing to enter the facility, thereby worsening the traffic flow further by fully blocking the nearby streets which are often restricted to one-way flow;
• Associated increased risk of damage, injury & death. Due to the issues detailed above, the incidence of damage to cars (both due to accidents between moving cars, and also impact on parked vehicles) is likely to increase greatly. Of even greater concern is the high potential for injury or even death due to young children and their carers seeking to navigate the congested roads nearby. Visibility would be low between & around parked cars, and the established trees & other vegetation, increasing the likelihood of accidents between passing cars & children;
• Heightened risks to local residents in bushfire periods. The surrounding area is rated as either ‘Bushfire Prone’ or even ‘Flame Zone’, with the real risk of bushfires approaching through the Berowra Valley National Park, and requiring the evacuation of local residents and attendants at the facility. Again due to the likely significant increase in congestion in the immediate area, which is the primary route for entry & exit for residents of Rosemead Rd, Lowanna Place, Lockinvar Place and sections of Valley Road, there is a heightened risk to local residents in times of high fire danger. Such a risk should not be under-estimated or ignored considering the recent events experienced in Australia;
• Negative impact on heritage property & surrounding area. ‘Errington House’ at 1 Rosemead Road is the most prominent heritage building in the unique Mount Errington area, with the surrounding area itself subject to a conservation order to preserve the unique character. Significant alterations to Errington House would undo the significant restoration & renovation work that has been undertaken to the interior & exterior of this significant ‘Arts & Crafts’ style building, and turning it into a commercial facility would also significantly detract from the heritage character of the area. I am aware that owners of a beautiful nearby heritage property on Dural St were prevented from erecting a new fence unless it was of a particular style, a seemingly very minor 'heritage' issue – I find it totally incongruous that the NSW Government and/or Hornsby Council would then allow such major changes that would detract so significantly on the most prominent property in the locale.

This proposed development is not in keeping with the area, does not serve the needs of the local residents & community and presents significant inconvenience and loss of amenity to local residents, and I strongly urge you to reject the application in full.
Name Withheld
HORNSBY , New South Wales
Re: Blue Gum Community School, Application No SSD-10444, 1 Rosemead Road, Hornsby.

I am writing to object this application, which has no merit, and declare that I have not made any reportable political donations in the previous two years.

The heritage significance of this residential property will be extensively affected by the proposal. The house at 1 Rosemead Rd is beautifully situated on the block with generous gardens. The graceful appearance of the house is supported by the grounds and gardens. The application will seriously threaten the heritage importance of the house and grounds, which are the keystone element to the heritage zone on the western side of Hornsby.

Heritage values on the western area of Hornsby as a whole will suffer from this application proceeding.

The appearance of the property from the Rosemead Rd street frontage will be significantly changed by measures including fencing, widening the entrance and removing the heritage gates to the property, and removing the prominent Bird of Paradise plant and Cabbage Tree palm near the entrance. Widening the existing driveway, creating another (exit) driveway and removing more trees in doing so will also adversely affect the presentation of the property to the street. A significant number of car movements through the grounds will overwhelm the peaceful appearance of the property, while this quiet section of Rosemead Rd will be adversely affected by increased traffic movement.

Traffic and parking on Dural and William streets will increase. On week days these streets are already largely parked out to their western ends by train commuters. This has the effect of creating one lane driving conditions along Dural and William streets. Additional pressure will be added to these streets by temporary parking as children are dropped off and collected from 1 Rosemead Rd, and from all day parking by parents commuting to work from the station area.

The section of Rosemead Rd adjacent to the application site will also become parked out during the day – one lane driving conditions along Rosemead Rd can be expected from the corner of Dural St to the corner of William St.

Particular attention must be given to the fact that entering the driveway to the site or parking on Rosemead Rd will be dangerous because access is very close to the blind corner of Dural St and Rosemead Rd. This presents major risks for both pedestrians and road users.

Of the 200 trees on the property, some 42 are proposed for removal. The loss of 21% of trees on the property is not acceptable. The grounds and gardens of the site are a major feature of the western side of Hornsby and should be preserved.

The noise from the preschool and school will have major impacts on neighbours including our home at XXX. The acoustic assessment report does not appear credible in terms of mitigation measures.

Further grounds for objecting are that:

· the application is for a large-scale commercial operation in a residential area, which degrades the amenity of the area for residents and visitors.

· emergency evacuation capacity in the event of bushfire is problematic, given foreseeable traffic congestion.

This development application involves significant adverse effects and should be rejected.
Simone Nittel
HORNSBY , New South Wales
To Whom it may concern,

As a resident of Rosemead Rd for over 15 years, I’m writing to express my concerns over the DA for 1 Rosemead Rd.

My many concerns are as follows:
* Hornsby is already serviced by enough infants/primary schools; the main one for this area will soon be undergoing expansion. There is also a large new Daycare centre going in next to Hornsby South Public School. See
* The house at 1 Rosemead Rd has significant heritage value to the area and it would be a great loss for the house to be changed as described in the DA. While the interior changes may be reversible, it still counts as destruction of a significant dwelling.
* The changes as described in the DA have significant environmental impact. Removal of over 40 trees is significant canopy loss for just one property. There will be a huge increase in water and electricity use, and a huge increase in refuse to dispose of. There will be a large increase in pollution from all the vehicles coming and going from the property.
* The property is in close proximity to Berowra Valley Regional park so is in Bushfire risk zoning. Having an extra 100 or so people to evacuate in an emergency is no small undertaking.
* The property is in a quiet and peaceful location, very close to neighbours. The neighbours will have additional noise to deal with from 7:30am to 6:30pm, 5 days a week for 49 weeks of the year.
* The streets around the property are quiet and narrow. During school term the surrounding streets are already full of commuter and residential parking. Dural St, Lisgar Rd, the top of Rosemead Rd and William St are effectively rendered to one car wide causing issues as soon as you have to deal with oncoming traffic. The section of William St where 1 Rosemead Rd has frontage is not suitable for any “10 minute” parking zones as it is one of the narrowest sections of the street. As it is, if there is a car parked there it is extremely difficult to get past. It’s almost impossible for the large trucks, that come and go from the Water Treatment Works down the hill, to get through. The streets are already struggling to cope, the addition of up to 80 extra vehicles coming and going will be a disaster. The school will attract extra commuter parking as there isn’t likely to be enough parking on site for all staff, and there is likely to be a large number of parents/guardians deciding to park nearby to walk to Hornsby station. Please see attached traffic report.
* During peak hours traffic trying to get in and out of Dural and William streets onto Peats Ferry Rd is already congested, the additional traffic will once again make this much worse.

I urge you to reject the DA in its current form as it is damaging to the local area and completely unnecessary.

Kind regards,

Simone Nittel
Biodiversity and Conservation Division
PARRAMATTA , New South Wales
Please find attached EES response
No interest letter attached.
PARRAMATTA , New South Wales
Heritage Council of NSW comments attached.
NSW Rural Fire Service
Homebush , New South Wales
Sydney Water
PARRAMATTA , New South Wales
Name Withheld
HORNSBY , New South Wales
The development is inappropriate for the area. We already have a child care on William street. William st is already technically only a one way street for us especially during the day. It is already a challenge to drive on the street when there are car parked on both side to find a space to pull over and give way to oncoming traffic. The proposal will add additional traffic which can be dangerous for road users and for residents to reverse on to the street.
Name Withheld
MOUNT KURING-GAI , New South Wales
I recommend refusal of this application. The Statement of Heritage Impact clearly demonstrates that the use of this building for a pre-school/school is absolutely inappropriate.

It is an extremely poor example of adaptive reuse. It causes environmental and aesthetic damage due to internal and external alteration to the building, the removal of trees and damage to the heritage garden.

According to the Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Heritage:

“Adaptive reuse is a process that changes a disused or ineffective item into a new item that can be used for a different purpose. Sometimes, nothing changes but the item’s use.”

This is not a disused or ineffective item. It can be used for many purposes without alterations and additions to the building. A preschool and school is not one of the appropriate uses.

This application fails to respect and retain the building’s heritage significance and add a contemporary layer that provides value for the future.

I object to:
• The loss of heritage value to the building, the garden and the heritage area in western Hornsby
• The damage to a magnificent Arts and Crafts building
• The new driveway and carpark. These are not in keeping with the era of development
• The removal of the front gates to the vegetable garden! These gates are magnificent and part of the streetscape.
• The replacement of the fence with a powder coated metal fence. How out of keeping
• The sliding gates
• The paved area with sail cloth. This is absolutely out of keeping and is not an elegant or stunning additional contemporary layer. It is just out of keeping.
• The covering of heritage walls with compressed cement sheeting and tiles. If this is needed the proposed use is not appropriate.
• The covering of other surfaces with polycarbonate. If this is needed the proposed use is not appropriate.
• Alteration of the internal structure with walls and windows removed. If this is needed the proposed use is not appropriate.
• Alteration to building detail
• The fire escape is utterly inappropriate and out of scale for and Arts and Crafts building. It is not a repurposed warehouse
• The loss of trees and vegetation in the property and on the nature strip
• Desecration of the Heritage listed garden

This heritage area, and Mt Errington in particular, are my favourite area of built heritage in the Hornsby Shire. The proposed desecration of the building, gardens and trees is beyond belief.
Name Withheld
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I wish to note my objection to the proposed development based on the following:
The site is zoned Low Density Residential and is not zoned for an 80 child pre-school and primary school
The internal and external alternations and additions to the building will permanently damage the character of the heritage listed building. For example, the proposed upstairs fire escape will be visible from the western main frontage of the residence and will detract from the unique Arts and Crafts design of the building
The removal of two high retention value trees (White Bird of Paradise and Cabbage Tree Palm which I understand are over 100 years old), and other significant trees, will result in significant loss of amenity. This cannot be compensated for by simply planting new trees. The total tree canopy of the site will also be significantly reduced with loss of amenity for the neighbourhood and community
A significant, permanent increase in vehicle movements and acoustic / sound levels will negatively impact on many residents' quality of life and safety. Dural Street and William Street are effectively one way streets already during peak times necessitating cars to often pull to allow other cars past. The proposed development will make this situation worse. The high frequency of cars crossing the footpath to enter and exit the driveway and car park is a risk to pedestrian safety
Under the planned operating periods, residents will not benefit from a respite from pre-school / school activities during school holidays as vacation care is also proposed. Residents will therefore be subject to the adverse vehicle movements and acoustics of this development for nearly every week in the year
Name Withheld
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I object to the state significate development application for 1 Rosemead Road, Hornsby. As a neighbour I object to alternations to this Heritage Building, the removal of trees from this site and associated works.

I consider that traffic problems created by this Development Proposal will be disastrous for us local residents. As the massive increase in traffic and limited parking will be greatly impacting residents in all of Dural St, Willliam St, Lisgar Rd and Lisgar Lane. Dural St and William St are already one way streets without having to find a space to pull over to allow oncoming traffic to pass.

Name Withheld
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I object to the project due to our concerns about traffic inconvenience and safety, disturbing living environment and other security issues.
Robert Stark
HORNSBY , New South Wales
I strongly object to the proposed pre-school and primary school at 1 Rosemead Road on the following grounds.

TRAFFIC. The traffic generated by the schools will overwhelm local road network leading to congestion. Proposed measures, such as staggered collection times, will not resolve the traffic issues - they will merely spread the chaos over a longer time and larger area as parents wait in the area for their allotted time. This has been proven by the staggered collection times at existing local primary schools due to COVID-19: traffic is significantly worse.
The width of the surrounding roads are too narrow for the proposed schools. The traffic report outlines that William Street is a collector road and therefore can support higher traffic flows, but in reality the alignment, width and parking conditions mean that traffic cannot pass in two directions and therefore in practice it is an already very overloaded local road.
Parking demand in the locality already exceeds current demand, and will only be made worse by the two schools.
The driveway to the site is located too close to a blind corner for this much more intensive development, particularly with small children proposed. This is unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
The traffic and parking will clearly be an issue for the surrounding road network on a day-to-day basis, but this will be significantly worse in times of emergency. There is a neighbouring retirement village that often has fire and ambulance attending, but there is also very significant concern about how the road network ill not be able to cope at all if evacuation of the valley is required due to bushfire.
The SEARs require the impact of trips generated by the development on nearby intersections to be assessed using SIDRA modelling. This has not been included in the submitted traffic report. Due to the nature of the surrounding road network, including a one way portion of Dural Street and right turn restrictions from Peats Ferry Road, this analysis should include all intersections in the area including Dural/Peats Ferry and William/Peats Ferry.

HERITAGE. The proposed changes to the heritage fabric of the house and gardens are not necessary - retention as a residential use would mean that more of the fabric of the house and gardens could be retained. A key element of the heritage significance is how the house sits within its garden - and it is proposed to change many key elements including the front fence, tree removal, additional driveways. A large, old, significant tree has already been removed from the site - the heritage values of the property are already being eroded.

TREE REMOVAL. In addition to the heritage implications of the proposed tree removal, this will also result in reduced habitat, canopy connectivity and overall be a loss to the local environment.

STREETSCAPE. The proposed signage, tree removal and new front fence (low timber to high metal) will change the aesthetics of the property, which defines this corner of Mt Errington and provides significant heritage and visual value to the community.


Project Details

Application Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Educational establishments
Local Government Areas
Hornsby Shire
Determination Date

Contact Planner

John Doubleday