Get a copy of 'Paddington, a history' - living history in a book  

News & issues

If you want to know what is currently occupying the minds of our team of talented architects, town planners, lawyers, communicators, cultural advocates and community activists then you've come to the hot spot for what is happening in Paddington right now:

Back to the News and Issues List

The Scottish Hospital Redevelopment... our view

To view our December 2010 submission to the Minister of Planning on the Part 3A application simply click the link "Download file" at the very bottom right of this item.

Salient Facts - the 'Mega' Scottish Hospital Plan

Paddington people need and want aged care on this site.


  It is unsympathetic architecture 

  The design ignores Paddingon's built form

   The floor area has increased by up to 46% on the 2002 approved DA 

   The new buildings would dominate the original Scottish Hospital building

   Destruction and poor interpretation of historic terraces dating from the mid 1800s

   88 trees to be removed, 72 are in good condition, and severe pruning of other trees

  9 storey building on Brown Street is 14m higher and much wider than the existing

  6 storey building would dominate Stephen Street

   Buildings exceed LEP height controls

   Excavation for up to 184 basement car parking spaces; 2002 DA - 73 spaces

  Construction until 2016

   The extensive PR driven consultation process has actually ignored community concerns

What we get:

  An increase of just 12 aged care beds - from 88 to 100

 45% assisted/concessional beds, an increase of 28

 82 luxury apartments for those over 55 years of age, 63 more than in approved 2002 DA

•  0.16 hectare, a tiny addition to Dillon Reserve

Background  - May 2010
The Scottish Hospital includes the gardens and original house
The Terraces, one of the ten Gentry Villa subdivisions granted by
Governor Bourke in the 1830s.

The Terraces is the only remaining Gentry Villa house and grounds
in Paddington, with the exception of a small segment of Engehurst
on Ormond Street. All the others have been demolished.

The only other villa from this period is Juniper Hall. It still stands, 
but on a block that is a fraction of the original 100 acre grant.

Later additions in the grounds include the AC Mackie Nursing Home
on Brown Street and the theatre addition on Stephen Street.

The 1.47 hectare site, house, grounds and some trees are heritage
listed in the Woollahra LEP 1995.
In 2001 a tree assessment identified some 88 major trees/species of the
some 140 trees on the site.
In 2002 Woollahra Council conditionally approved an aged care
development on the site, retaining the existing buildings adding two
setback floors to the 4 floor nursing home and creating new 2 storey 
buildings. It incorporated 24 self-care apartments and some 190 aged
care beds, and a basement car park for about 70 cars.

Council assessed the floor space for the approved application as some
13,600 sqm with a project cost of about $23m.

The National Trust, The Paddington Society and local residents
objected to the impact of the proposal on the Scottish Hospital, its
site, its trees, its grounds, views to the site and views from the site.

A new proposal
Presbyterian Aged Care (PAC) has developed new plans for the site
to include a 105 bed residential aged care facility and 90 seniors’ self-
care apartments with community facilities, ancillary care services
and some 150 cars parked on the Scottish Hospital site.

Various options have suggested buildings ranging up to 10 floors
on the Scottish Hospital site. The two very high 1960s buildings on
Glenmore Road above the Scottish Hospital and on Stephen Street
adjacent to the Scottish Hospital are each 8 floors above a floor of car
parking. These buildings are completely out of scale and character
with the Victorian terraces of Paddington and their form should not
be repeated in Paddington.

Note: the ground level at the Scottish Hospital car park is approximately
RL 15m, and Cooper Street is approximately RL 30m; the 4 floor AC
Mackie building roof is approximately RL 29.5m. The apartment
building parapet of No 40 Stephen Street is approximately RL 42.5m
and the plant room is probably 6m higher.

The Paddington Society supports the continuing use of Aged Care
on the Scottish Hospital site.

The Paddington Society is very concerned as the new proposal 

- A floor space of 19,750 sqm (6,150sqm more than the 2002
  approved DA)

- A project cost of $103m ($80m more than the 2002 approved DA)

Heights up to RL 37.1m on Stephen Street and up to RL 43.5m
  on Brown Street
- Six floors above Brown Street on the view axis of Glenview Street
- Building on the ravine, a micro rainforest environment, to connect 
  to Brown Street

- Five floors above Stephen Street on the view axis of Glen Street 

- Buildings north of Glen Street blocking views into the site

- Height along both sides of the existing heritage Terraces’ gardens 
increasing the sense of closure rather than opening out the view

- Removal of existing trees, including most of the trees along Stephen St

- A large basement car park for perhaps 150 cars with potential impacts on the   drainage system and the root systems of the existing trees. This represents a   very significant excavation on the site

- An additional a ccess point for service vehicles and the car park from Stephen   Street, a narrow 10m wide dead end residential street 

- There is no Landscape Conservation Plan and apart from the development of   design guidelines, and

- There is no design excellence process identified.

And on the positive side:

- Doubling the size of Dillon Reserve as public open space

- Continuing provision of aged care on the site.

Design Principles
The Paddington Society understands that Woollahra Council has
decided to develop design principles for the site in consultation with
the community to inform the Minister for Planning as part of the
consultation process. The Society strongly supports this initiative.

Design principles identified by The Paddington Society should: 
- Respect, preserve and enhance the heritage values of The Scottish
  Hospital, the site, the gardens and the trees;

- Respond to and conform with a Conservation Landscape
  Management Plan (CMP) for the site. The CMP should be a
  precedent to any design proposals;

- Respond to and conform with a Conservation Landscape Management 
  Plan for the site. None appears to have been made public to date. This
  should be a precedent to any design proposals (Tree Wise Men have
  prepared a preliminary arborist report);

- Preserve the views that expand out from the original garden terraces
  within the site; 

- Preserve the views into the gardens of the site on the alignments of
  Glenview Street, Dillon Street, Stephen Street and Glen Street;

- Limit the impact of the development on the heritage streetscape
  of Cooper Street, Brown Street, Dillon Reserve and Stephen Street;

- Identify an appropriate density for the site;
   Note: Council's 2002 consent for FSR is 0.9:1 and the Women’ Hospital
   development FSR is 0.89:1, both projects are a reasonable guide as to
   what is appropriate for Paddington including the provision for public   
   open space.

- Identify an appropriate scale and height controls for buildings
  on the site;
  Note: Existing consent approved 6 floors above ground on the site
  of the existing nursing home, this is also a reasonable guide as to
  where and what height might exceed the 9.5 metre LEP height limit.

- Identify appropriate built form controls for setbacks and for areas
  where the LEP height limit is considered too high; these should be
  set by surrounding heritage heights and existing trees;

- Identify solar access controls for both public open space, private
  open space and neigbouring residential property;

- Ensure that self-care apartments comply with SEPP 65 with regard
  to solar access, amenity and separation;

- Identify appropriate controls for building materials and colours;

- Identify appropriate landscape controls for the site;

- Minimize car parking on the site and ensure minimal impact
  on trees root systems;

- Limit vehicular site access to the existing entry point to the site;

- Limit all construction access and to the existing entry point to the site;

- Create sufficient urban design control or a design/peer review
  process or require a competitive process to achieve design excellence;
- Conduct an appropriate consultation process with stakeholders 
and neighbours.

 The Paddington Society supports the continued use of Aged Care
on the Scottish Hospital site, but it is concerned about the large scale
of the proposal and the extent of self-care apartment accommodation

Given the difference between the project cost in 2002 and
the project cost submitted to the Department of Planning in 2009
The Society is also concerned about the process.

For further details on the proposal go to:

To make your views known call: 
1800 708 067 or email


Submissions closed:  17th December 2010             
(see model and plans at Woollahra Council)
Director, Strategic Assessment, Department of Planning, GPO Box 39, Sydney NSW


prepared by Robyn Attuell

Download file

Back to the News and Issues List