RHSV Submission on Sarah Sands Hotel, 29 Sydney Road, Brunswick

built in 1854

The substantial extent of the proposed demolition of the heritage place shows a lack of respect for most of its existing fabric and its heritage significance.

15 September 2018


Sarah Sands Hotel
Location: 29 Sydney Road, Brunswick 

Ms Dijana Sarac
Responsible Urban Planner
Moreland City Council
Locked Bag 10
Victoria 3058

Re: MPS 2017/112 at 29 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Dear Ms Sarac

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria represents approximately 400 historical societies throughout Victoria. The RHSV Heritage Committee supports the Brunswick and Coburg Historical Societies in strongly opposing the proposed partial demolition of the existing Sarah Sands Hotel building; use of land for dwellings; construction of a 10-storey building above 3 storeys of car park; alterations of the existing licensed area associated with a tavern; reduction of the standard car parking; reduction of loading bay facilities including alteration of an access in a Road Zone 1 category. The RHSV urges the City of Moreland to reject the application in its present form.

We believe the proposal will be detrimental to the heritage significance of the former Sarah Sands Hotel building, one of 4 early hotels built along Sydney Road, which was an important route to the goldfields. The Edinburgh Castle and Sarah Sands Hotels were both built in 1854 after the Retreat Hotel (1842 but rebuilt in 1892) and the Brunswick Hotel (built in 1852). In the heritage documentation accompanying the plans there is acknowledgement that the former Sarah Sands Hotel ‘has been an important landmark, meeting place and reference point for events and activities in the local area’ (Heritage Report Lovell Chen Appendix, page 5), The elevations show that the proposed additions will dwarf the former Sarah Sands, and will be detrimental to the significance of the original historic hotel building as well as adversely affecting the character of the Sydney Road heritage precinct (HO149).

The application claims to be for partial demolition of the existing building but the plans show that only part of the original 1854 roof on the SE corner, Brunswick Road (south) and Sydney Road (east) walls and parts of the western and northern façades will remain. The heritage significance of this building will be impacted by so much proposed demolition. At the very least, the tower levels, which are cantilevered over the hotel to the east, should be setback to about the western back verandah line of the adjoining buildings to the north, facing Sydney Road. The proposed building is also too high, being contrary to Design and Development Overlay Schedule 18, which specifies that the building have a preferred 19-metre maximum height. The total building height of this building is over 22 metres (the west, east and north elevation figures show a height over 31 metres from ground floor to roof level, which does not include a parapet level).

In conclusion, we believe the siting and height of the proposed tower will seriously damage the heritage value of the former Sarah Sands Hotel. The substantial extent of the proposed demolition of the heritage place shows a lack of respect for most of its existing fabric and its heritage significance. 

Yours sincerely

Dr Judith Smart
For the RHSV Heritage Committee


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