Heritage site bid ‘surprise’

LONGTIME advocates for Guildford’s historic Linnwood estate were surprised to see the site on the council’s agenda last week.

The Friends of Linnwood have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through open days and federal and state government grants to care for the site and restore the historic house, and president Dorothy Warwick said they were “disappointed” not to be formally advised the site’s future was being discussed.
Mrs Warwick said told councillors they supported the third of four options considered as part of a business case prepared by KPMG.
“We have always advocated that the Linnwood estate is suitable for passive open green space community use,” she said.
“We would also like to see ongoing and regular engagement with the Friends during the future feasibility and archaeological assessment process, and any other steps that are required to ensure the (Conservation Management Plan) is finally endorsed by Heritage NSW.”
Councillors unanimously endorsed Option 3, which includes a feasibility assessment to develop part of the site for “higher intensity seniors housing or similar clustered development”. Such a development could cost the council $4.63m, however the potential income generated drops the final estimated cost to the council to about $227,694.
Built in 1891, the former homestead eventually served as a school and the site also includes two additional buildings built in the 1970s, McCredie Cottage and Faulds House which is now leased and actively used by Sunnyfield Disability Services.
Option 3 also proposes demolishing Faulds and relocating Sunnyfield into a renovated McCredie Cottage.
However the council’s preferred development option for the 11.5 hectare property is not funded as yet and can’t proceed without the CMP, which will cost the council about $10,000 for a separate archaeological assessment for the site, and is required before August 2021.