Historic home to make way for apartment block

Karen McKeown in front of the home set to be demolished. Photo: Megan Dunn
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An historic 1895 home is set to become yet another victim of local development, with the Lemongrove block to be bulldozed to make way for new apartments.

Situated at 20 Robert Street, the home is located just outside of the protected Lemongrove Estate Conservation Area.

The demolition is to make way for a four storey, 20 apartment dwelling with a basement car park.

Local resident Andrew Winchester is concerned Penrith is losing its history and has started an online petition in protest.

“The approval by the Local Planning Panel to demolish this 124-year-old historical house on Robert Street is very disappointing, as someone who lived on Robert Street for 30 years and representing an elderly family member who still does and has done so since 1953 this is very, very sad,” he said.

Mr Winchester first became notified of the demolition back in September 2018. He and a family member made submissions against it and attended the public meeting but despite their efforts it was still approved earlier this year.

Penrith Councillor Karen McKeown said this is just another example of why Councillors need their powers back when it comes to rejecting Development Applications.

“Penrith is really losing its heritage, these homes define the character of the area and it’s a tragedy that this is happening all over,” she said.

The Lemongrove Estate Conservation Area is the section bounded by Hemmings Street, Thurston Street, Lemongrove Road and The Crescent, Penrith.

It is protected due to the number of brick and timber cottages that date back to the 19th century and early part of the 20th century as they are viewed as of high historic value to the area.

Despite this home upholding the same criterion, because it is outside of the zone it is not protected.

The Weekender reached out to Penrith Council for a comment, but were referred to a document stating the Local Planning Panel’s determination reasons.

The panel recommended the proposal is permissible development within the R4 zone and said it generally complies with the provisions of the LEP.

Mr Winchester is in the process of writing a letter to Penrith MP Stuart Ayres in his last bid to stop the development.

To sign the petition: bit.ly/2S9wdWs.

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