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Juniper Hall - 99 year Lease, September 2012

The Paddington Society has met with representatives of the National Trust, Brian Scarsbrick CEO and Gerry Hayes, Director of Properties on 17 September 2012 concerning the proposed auction of Juniper Hall.  Following this meeting, the Society expressed the following.  

The Society regrets the proposed sale of the 99 year lease of Juniper Hall.  The Society’s preference would be that the National Trust was able to maintain this important historic building under its direct care and control. 

The Society’s fundamental objective is that Juniper Hall remain a State heritage item and that it be preserved and maintained appropriately.

The National Trust has confirmed that Juniper Hall, as a State heritage item, will be preserved and maintained appropriately. 

The Society’s preference is that any future use of Juniper Hall provides public access, greater than has been the case for the last 25 years. 

Juniper Hall was purchased and restored by the National Trust during the 1980s following many years of being under threat of demolition.  Funds were provided by the State Government, Woollahra Council, Amatil, Westpac, the Paddington Society and the National Trust.

The Paddington Society acknowledges that the National Trust does not receive sufficient funding from governments of every level to maintain its large portfolio of historic buildings and that priorities must be made.  The Society acknowledges that the maintenance of historic buildings is very costly. 

The Society understands that the National Trust had approached state and local government seeking any expression of interest of government ownership of Juniper Hall.  This was unsuccessful.   

The Society understands that the National Trust does not have the funds to maintain Juniper Hall.   The Trust has not been able to secure leases of the property that have generated sufficient income to make the premises self-funding.  The Society understands that lessees will not spend the significant money required to upgrade and maintain the building unless a long term lease is offered.  

The National Trust requires as a condition of sale of the 99 year lease that the successful bidder provide a bond for the immediate maintenance needs of Juniper Hall.  Any works that are proposed to the building will be required to be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Juniper Hall Conservation Management Plan and will need the approval of the Heritage Council. 

Juniper Hall has been included on the Register of the National Estate since 1978 and the State Heritage Register since 1999.  It is listed as a Heritage Item in the Woollahra Local Environment Plan 1995. 

The Society will keep a close eye on the process for any proposed adaptive reuse of the building and will make strong representations should any proposal not comply with the Conservation Management Plan 

The National Trust has prepared a statement concerning the sale of Juniper Hall, including why the lease is for sale and funding of the purchase of Juniper Hall. This statement can be viewed on its web page About Us/Media Releases.

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