Rodley House to be bulldozed

Concerned residents wanted Rodley House saved. Photo: Melinda Jane

An historic house in the centre of Penrith will be bulldozed to make way for two high rise apartment blocks.

Rodley House will be torn down after a majority of Councillors declined at the 11th hour to defer the matter to allow further investigations into the property’s historic significance and current condition.

Situated at 12 Vista Street – between Rodley Avenue and Union Road – the 19th century brick villa housed three former Penrith Mayors and stands on Captain Daniel Woodriff’s original land grant of 1,000 acres by Governor King in 1804.

Despite this, Councillors refused to entertain an adjournment, noting it had previously resolved in the early 90s and again in 2012 that the property did not warrant local heritage listing following reviews into the structure.

According to a letter from former owner Bill Cammack, dated July 6, 1990, the “building has been bastardised beyond recognition”.

Councillors also expressed concerns about potential “reputational damage” in stalling an otherwise complying development and being perceived as “closed for business”. The land has been zoned high-density residential for five years.

“It’s damaging and compromises confidence,” Councillor Mark Davies said.
Councillor Todd Carney agreed.

“We can’t keep changing the goal posts… I don’t think it’s the right thing for Council to be doing,” he said.

Cr Carney said Council had a commitment to supply affordable housing for future generations.

“Obviously it is Council’s responsibility to provide housing in our area, and reasonably priced housing,” he said.

But Councillors Kevin Crameri and Marcus Cornish, who voted against the recommendation, called for a deferral to allow Councillors and Council’s heritage adviser to try to inspect the property for themselves.

“We need to be consistent,” Cr Crameri said.

“It appears heritage only counts if we’re in the Mulgoa Valley.”

Applicant Vista Group Pty Ltd is expected to construct two, six-storey residential buildings comprising 73 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments with a basement car park, at a cost of $16.4 million.

Five people spoke to the development in front of a packed house on Monday night – two for and three against.

An archival recording of the property will be undertaken prior to demolition as a condition of consent.

  • Susan Bowes

    A #SustainableAustralia includes better #planning to save our cities, suburbs and towns from overdevelopment.

  • Kay

    Well thats the way the cookie crumbles – come to Oxley Park and see the overdevelopment and the now trashy suburb – it is not all about Penrith the city, it is about the suburbs that fall under the developer hammer of Penrith City Council – the councillors in majority are: Real Estate Agents, Solicitors, Developers themselves, Company Directors of building supply company – what will makes them the most money – DEVELOPMENT – more turn over for Real Estate agents and solicitors, developers make bucket loads with inferior materials, cheap tear down of asbestos filled houses, cheap labour, and building supply companies have a non stop supply to developers – it is all about selling out the residents – charge excessive rates and give nothing back – this council has sold out all of Penrith for the mighty dollar – look at their profiles on the council page – look at where they live – they will block developments they do not like in their neighbour hoods but reap havoc on everyone else – cement tower city here we come – no planning for parking, sell off open space, shovel people on top of each other, increase in crime and suburbs looking like rubbish tips. Chop thousands of trees down and then call themselves the “Green City” bunch of morons – scum of the earth – the karma train is coming and will eventually catch up to them.