The Priory

Council is looking to restore The Priory, and add additional amenities to the immediate precinct and broader Riverglade Reserve.

A Plan of Management (POM) has been developed.

This POM sets out how the reserve will be managed and cared for now and into the future.

One key elements of the POM is The Priory and immediate surrounds.

An on-site pop-up meeting was held on Saturday 12 February, from 9am to 11am, at 10-12 Salter Street, Huntleys Cove.

The session provided an opportunity for community members to ask questions and share feedback.

Answers to frequently asked questions can also be found in the dropdown sections below.

A development application for integrated development at The Priory site is on public exhibition

The notification period commenced on 15 December 2021 and has been extended until 23 February 2022.

Details of the proposal and documentation, such as plans, can be viewed via Council’s DA Tracker.

Written submissions will be received up until 4pm on Wednesday 23 February 2022.  The submissions must specify the ground for objection (if any).

Any enquiries may be directed to Customer Service on 9879 9400.

Update 1 February 2022: The notification period has been extended until 23 February 2022.

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Update: 21 January 2022

Under the Riverglade Reserve Plan of Management, adopted by Council in February 2021, the area of The Priory building and carpark is categorised as General Community Use. The land is Crown reserve with Council as Crown Land Manager. Permitted purposes include the reuse of The Priory to provide a café/restaurant and public related activities including education and artists’ space. Exemplar activities and uses include a café/restaurant at The Priory (subject to lease/licence, other approvals as required). The Plan of Management allows for a lease for The Priory in line with the following:

  • Rent will be assessed by a market valuation undertaken by Council’s Valuer, with such rent reviewed every 5 years.
  • The maximum length of the lease will be for 20 years.
  • A lease is appropriate where exclusive possession of premises is given to a successful organisation.
  • It requires protection and restoration of the heritage values and curtilage in accordance with the Conservation Management Plan.
  • Café, restaurant and other public uses approved by Council will be considered where appropriate.

The lessee cannot transfer their license without the approval of Council and relevant authorities.

Under the conditions of lease, the lessee can operate no later than 10pm (Sundays – Thursdays inclusive) and 11pm (Fridays and Saturdays) provided, however, that the lessee’s staff may remain at The Priory for a maximum of one hour (i.e. until 11pm or 12am) after such usage hours for the purpose of cleaning up, etc.

Within the development application, the lessee is applying for an extension of the hours outlined in the lease, which would be from 7am – 12am (Monday-Sunday) for both the café and restaurant with the exception of all outdoor areas which would be closed by 10.30 pm each day. (Council has requested that lessee amend the hours on the development application to align with the conditions of the lease i.e. 10pm and 11pm).

The lessee is required to keep the premises clean, tidy, in good order and will maintain and repair all essential services. The lessee cannot carry out any additional structural changes to the building and its environment outside of any approved development application plans without first obtaining the written consent of Council, the Heritage Council of NSW and the Minister for Crown Lands.

 

Seating numbers are outlined as part of the development application process. Seating numbers will be dependent on whether Heritage NSW approve the alterations and additions to the building (for example, if any extension to the building/s is not approved this will impact seating numbers).

Parking considerations will also impact seating numbers and will be considered during the development application and community feedback process.

In addition, COVID regulations will impact seating numbers, for example when in NSW there is a 1 person per 2 square metre limit.

The development application received by Council proposes that the combined restaurant and café have a total capacity of 416 patrons/seats.  The allocation of these seats is shown in the table below:

LocationSeating capacity
Restaurant internal272
Restaurant external44
Café internal76
Café external24
Total:416

The lessee will need to ensure that there are noise containment strategies in place to reduce the impact on local residents.

Any noise complaints will be reported to Council and the Police and will be managed formally through a noise management process.

An acoustic report has been submitted with the development application, which make a series of recommendations to mitigate noise.

An arboricultural report was submitted with the development application. It recommends removal of 47 of the site’s 63 trees, as most of these are classified as weeds, dead, dying or dangerous or considered inappropriate to the heritage context of the site.

No street trees would be impacted under the current proposal.

A traffic and parking report was submitted with the development application, which outlines a response to the road network capacity and parking in and around The Priory.

The report uses the proposed floor space of the restaurant and café to estimate the traffic generation of the proposal, with the conclusion being that the projected increase in traffic will be minimal.

In regards to parking, the development application states that 39 off-street car parking spaces are to be provided in an upgrade of the existing car parking facilities on the site.

The development application includes details of a parking survey undertaken in the vicinity of The Priory and states that there are 158 publicly-accessible car parking spaces located in kerbside parking areas within a convenient walking distance from the site, with the peak parking period being Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. Mention is given to the number of vacant parking spaces during these peak times, which have the potential to accommodate approximately 100 additional vehicles.

The survey outlines that the on-street parking demands were lowest along the site frontage and parklands fronting Salter Street and Manning Road and directly opposite the site near the intersection of Salter Street and Manning Road. The number of parked cars recorded in these zones were typically less than 10 cars and on most occasions, less than 5 parked cars, leaving more than 50 vacant parking spaces available within a short walk from the site.

Council was granted care, control and management of The Priory site from the NSW Department of Lands in 2007. The State Heritage Listed building required significant investment to restore and refurbish it, in order to preserve it for future generations. This initiated a process to determine a viable funding strategy and an adaptive re-use option, which would achieve an optimal outcome in the successful preservation of The Priory.

Council commenced an Expression of Interest (EOI) process in 2012. As part of The Priory Expression of Interest (EOI) submission process, business and financial details were provided to Council under Commercial-in-Confidence.

A rigorous process following Expression of Interest for the Lease of the Priory Probity Plan Guidelines (using an independent probity specialist) was undertaken in selecting a preferred Expression of Interest applicant, and following negotiations with the preferred applicant, the EOI expired with nil result. Council then undertook another EOI in 2015. The reinvigorated EOI process concluded with the preferred applicant wishing to adaptively re-use The Priory as a café & restaurant, and community meeting place for users of Riverglade Reserve and the inclusive playspace under development.

The Department of Primary Industries and Environment has delegated authority through the Local Government Act and the Crown Lands Management Act to transfer care, control and management of Crown reserves to local councils. Care, control and management of The Priory was transferred to Hunter’s Hill Council in 2007.

The Department of Primary Industries and Environment does have oversight of Crown Land categorisation, Native Title, consideration and adoption of Plans of Management and leases and licenses.

The precinct would be activated to include:

  • A restaurant and café, incorporating accessible amenities.
  • Expanded & accessible carparking for all users of the Reserve.
  • An inclusive playspace (opened November 2021).
  • Community access and connection to the Reserve.

Through the lease arrangement a number of benefits will be delivered, most importantly the ability to fully restore The Priory at no cost to ratepayers or residents and reopen the beautiful building for the community to enjoy. The benefits include:

  • The Priory will be fully restored.
  • There will be extensive accessibility improvements.
  • Adaptive re-use is consistent with The Priory Conservation Management Plan and draft Riverglade Reserve PoM.
  • The café will be available for users and visitors to Riverglade Reserve.
  • Car parking will be upgraded and available for public use.
  • The entire precinct, including the installation of an inclusive playspace will cater to local residents and visitors (opened November 2021).
  • The Priory will be used for community open days, tours of the historic site by the community and local school groups in addition to education-based talks.
  • Heathy cooking classes will be offered to local community groups including our local churches who support local families.
  • It is a walkable destination for most people living in the area.

As part of The Priory Expression of Interest (EOI) submission process, business and financial details were provided to Council under Commercial-in-Confidence.

A rigorous process following Expression of Interest for the Lease of the Priory Probity Plan Guidelines (using an independent probity specialist) was undertaken in selecting a preferred Expression of Interest applicant.

The prospective lessee will pay the complete cost of restoration and refurbishment.

A development application (DA) is being exhibited, from 15 December 2021 to 23 February 2022, to the community and adjoining properties.

View via Council’s DA Tracker.

Feedback is being sought in relation to amenity impacts.

This process gives the community an opportunity to view and comment on the DA including; the consideration/implementation of traffic and parking calming strategies, hours of operation, noise studies and heritage impacts.

 

A development application for integrated development at The Priory site is on public exhibition

The notification period commenced on 15 December 2021 and has been extended to 23 February 2022.

Details of the proposal and documentation, such as plans, can be viewed via Council’s DA Tracker.

Written submissions will be received up until 4pm on Wednesday 23 February 2022.  The submissions must specify the ground for objection (if any).

Any enquiries may be directed to Customer Service on 9879 9400.

The development application will be assessed by an independent town planner who will consider the application on amenity issues and matters of environmental impact, such as traffic and parking implications.

Local Planning Panels (LPP) are panels of independent experts that determine development applications on behalf of Council and provide advice on other planning matters including planning proposals.

Members are rotated each hearing. Panel members are not allowed to discuss matters directly with a member of the community. If approached, the community representative  must explain that they are unable to discuss the matter, and ask them to put in a written submission to the council, and to register to speak to the panel at its public meeting. This way the objection is on record and the panel and the community can have the benefit of that person’s views.

If a community representative has been lobbied, the representative must disclose in writing to the panel chair any effort made to lobby you. The chair will then report these disclosures to the Council’s General Manager.

A lease has been negotiated between Hunter’s Hill Council and the prospective lessee. The lease will not come into effect until, and if a DA has been approved.

Leases are considered under Commercial-in-Confidence and are classified as legal docs. Council is therefore not in a position to provide the community with a copy. However, the Heads of Agreement is a public document and was presented to Council for consideration and adoption at Meeting 4408 on 19 September 2016. The lease is non-transferable.

The key terms of the EOI were that the hours of operation be open until 10pm on Sunday – Thursday with staff to vacate premises by 11pm, and open until 11pm Friday – Saturday, with staff to vacate premises by 12am. These hours are subject to final development approval conditions which may vary. The term of the lease is for twenty (20) years.

Parking, traffic and noise considerations will be managed through the DA process.

It is envisaged that the development consent (subject to approval) for the restaurant will provide for a maximum number of patrons. This condition would be monitored as required and staff would respond to any complaints under normal protocols. As would the NSW Police in response and  in accordance with their jurisdiction (ie Late night noise/illegal activities).

  • Preferred lessee to lodge DA. including noise. traffic and parking
    reports.
  • DA to be independently assessed.
  • DA to be forwarded to Heritage NSW for assessment.
  • Determination of the DA.
  • If DA approval is granted, preferred lessee to sign lease agreement.
  • Lessee to undertake works following lodgement of Construction
    Certificate (CC).
  • Restoration and refurbishment works to be completed.
  • Occupation Certificate (OC) to be granted.
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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
E: customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au
ABN: 75 570 316 011