Update 5th February 2024

Lawyers representing council have advised that the appeal against the interim heritage order of the site has not been upheld. To read more about the ruling please click here.

Council have made a submission to the Planning Minister to proceed with the Heritage Listing of the site – it is understood the first stage of this process has passed a gateway review. Council have advised that further consultation with the community will occur regarding the Heritage Listing once advised by the State Government. The Interim heritage Order over the site expires in late May and any Heritage Listing will need to be approved by this time.

Meanwhile, the DA is scheduled for a directions hearing at the Land and Environment Court at 10.30am on 9th February 2024 – Case No. 2022/00273498 and change search range to one week. Click here to access the court listings.

Status and History as at December 2023

In 2021 Willoughby Council received DA-2021/340 involving a substantial development around the Catholic Church, Naremburn at 43 Donnelly Rd (border Willoughby Rd and Merremburn Ave). The Willoughby Planning Panel rejected the development on Tuesday 26th July 2022 and in 2023 applied an interim heritage order. Both the decision and the interim order has been appealed. The communities provided strong input regarding the size, scale, location and heritage implications of the proposal. There are considerable concerns that the townhouse development will change the look and feel of Naremburn’s well renowned heritage strip along Willoughby Rd and disconnect the heritage items that are very much the gateway to Willoughby.

The DA describes the development as a: “proposed mixed use development comprising the demolition of existing school building, additions to St Leonards Church comprising parish hall and presbytery, construction of multi dwelling housing, conversion of existing presbytery to a dwelling and construction of a dwelling house.” NPA and many others including the Willoughby Heritage Society representatives have objected to the proposal with a degradation of heritage as a key issue alongside the overdevelopment of the site and further strain on already stretched services and utilities. The development would also mean an opportunity lost in terms of community facilities or a school again taking pride of place at the site.

To view the original submission click here and enter 2021/340

To read the determination report under the 26th July 2022 Willoughby Planning Panel Meeting click here

Click here to view our Naremburn Progress Associations submission

Click here to view the excellent submission by Terry Fogarty, Willoughby District Historical Society & Museum 2022

Click here to see Council’s latest announcement regarding the Interim Heritage Order