Glebe Grapevine


You heard it here!

Issue 2. June 2013

It’s a Disgrace!


Another Department of Housing property on the Glebe Estate has been sold at auction. The Glebe Estate was acquired by the Australian Government in 1973 and transferred to the NSW Government in the mid 1980s with the express intention of preserving the historic townscape and protecting the low income community.

The process of selling off these homes must be stopped!





Housing NSW has finally submitted its development application for the ‘Glebe Affordable Housing Project’ in Cowper Street to Sydney City Council. Residents are invited to comment on the proposal.

Residents will recall that two years ago Housing NSW demolished 134 homes and removed all the trees leaving behind a wasteland.

What is wrong with the proposal?

è  High-rise development

The development proposes to build 495 residential units in high rise towers up to 36 metres high.  Half of these are to be privately owned.

High-rise development in this location is out of character and incompatible with the smaller scale development in heritage suburbs such as Glebe

High-rise housing does not reduce rents.  In Pyrmont, which has much affordable housing, the average rent in 2011 was $577. In Glebe it was $340.

è  Traffic and parking

The DA includes 175 car parking spaces for about 500 households. This is inadequate in a suburb where two thirds of households have at least one car.  In terms of this development that translates to about 335 motor vehicles, all needing somewhere to be parked.

There is no parking at all for social housing tenants even though planning controls require 0.4 parking spaces for each 1 bedroom unit and more for larger units.  The development would need to provide at least 60 parking spaces just for the social housing units.

The extension of Elger Street to Bay Street and the opening up of Elger Street to two way traffic will create traffic problems in the Glebe Estate.

è  Density

The proposed development will mean about 1,000 extra residents living in close proximity to one another.

There will be increased competition for street parking, increased rubbish, increased noise of rubbish removal, and privacy issues affecting residents of the new development and existing residents in the area..

è  Solar access

The development should be rejected because much of the site will be in shadow for much of the day and cannot comply with the relevant planning controls. The development will also have a severe impact on the solar access of surrounding homes and open spaces.

è  Open space and landscaping

The development does not come anywhere near complying with the requirement that NSW Housing provide at least 35 square metres of landscaped area per dwelling.  NSW Housing proposes to provide less than 20% of the required landscaped area.

è  Heritage

The DA cannot comply with planning controls providing that development not have an adverse impact on surrounding heritage. The proposal adjoins the Glebe conservation area on its northern and western sides and will have a severe impact on surrounding heritage.

è  Flooding

The flood study relied on was undertaken in 2009 before the demolition of the existing housing and the removal of 170 trees and all of the top soil.  Since demolition flooding of areas in the vicinity has intensified.

What should be built?

What should be built is about 250 or so dwellings compatible in size and scale with surrounding development for Housing NSW tenants.  These could be built in the same style as the well designed infill housing in Cowper Street between Wentworth Street and Wentworth Park Road.


Write to: The Chief Executive Officer, City of Sydney
GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW 2001.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 30 May



If you would like a copy of the Hands off Glebe submission opposing the Cowper Street development application,
please ring Denis on 0418 290 663
or email us on



The Hanging Gardens of Glebe

hanging garden 3

The “HangingGardens of Glebe” are fast becoming a tourist feature of inner city life.

Some residents boast Moreton Bay Fig trees over a metre high and wide growing on their roof or in their gutters. Others have a profusion of varied greenery cascading from gutters and downpipes.

When approached regarding repair and restoration, Housing NSW has advised elderly women living alone that it is their responsibility to clean guttering. Some of these gutters are fixed to second storey eaves.

In many cases roots from these aerial forests are doing significant damage to downpipes, roofs and even walls of houses – allowing rain to leak into properties and wall cracks to widen.

Another example of “destruction by neglect” by Housing NSW.