State Heritage listed Bidura is showing the tell-tale signs of neglect. No maintenance or upkeep is evident, which may result in leaks, further dilapidating the building. Left unchecked, Bidura runs the risk of being demolished by neglect.
A cursory look at the building and its curtilage has identified the following issues:
- The front fence, the most obvious feature to pedestrians, is gradually being vandalised and many wooden pickets have been removed or damaged.
- The gate is unlocked, inviting vandals and perhaps even squatters.
- The garden and grass have not been attended to for some time.
- Some roof slates have slipped.
- Shutters are hanging askew from the upper floor windows.
- The fire hydrant cannot be accessed in the event of a fire to save the building.
The Development Application, expected from the beginning of the year, has still not been advertised. In early February some Ferry Rd residents noticed drilling happening in the grounds around the rear brutalist building (to be demolished for proposed unit development) and asked the contractor what was happening. They were told it was to check the water table levels and substructure of the bedrock. This issue was raised as a concern by a number of people during discussions regarding the two previous DAs.
The Glebe Society contacted the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage on 2 April to report the general neglect but has not received a reply. As with other heritage items (eg Glebe Island swing bridge) there seems little response from authorities to combat demolition by neglect.
The Glebe Society will discuss this serious matter at their next management committee meeting, and the Society may – once again – need to mount a ‘Save Bidura’ campaign.
Peter Crawshaw and Michael Morrison