Will it be third time lucky for the Wayzgoose building?

Wayzgoose building: The third DA for its refurbishment retains as much heritage as possible.
Wayzgoose building: The third DA for its refurbishment retains as much heritage as possible.

A third development application for Leura’s Wayzgoose Cafe building has been lodged by council, this time with an addition that is more in sympathy with the existing building.

Artists impression: An aerial view of how the upgraded building would look.

Artists impression: An aerial view of how the upgraded building would look.

The original DA was submitted in December 2016 but attracted a large amount of criticism, with 185 submissions and a petition of more than 10,000 signatures.

Rear view: An illustration of the proposed new addition with much larger windows.

Rear view: An illustration of the proposed new addition with much larger windows.

Council responded by amending the DA to preserve the existing heritage values of the circa 1902 building as much as possible.

But that DA, put on exhibition in October 2017, was rejected by the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel in February.

The IHAP found the plans could be much improved upon. 

Chairwoman, Mary-Lynne Taylor, said: “What’s offered to date is not good enough for a Blue Mountains City Council in a world heritage area. We believe it can be better.”

She there were valid criticisms about “the integration of the old and the new”, referring to a replacement for an old lean-to at the rear of the building beside the carpark.

The IHAP made a number of recommendations for improvements, which have been addressed by Sunlab Architects.

In particular, the new addition at the rear, likely to house a cafe, will have big windows, which mirror those of the Wayzgoose’s Mall frontage, and will not look as though it has turned its back on the lane or the carpark area.

It will be a “simpler and more compatible addition”, the DA said. “Pedestrians will be able to see into the proposed café and café patrons will be able to look out on the public domain activity. The clerestory windows add lightness to the car park façade and will add to the provision of natural light to the proposed café.”

Landscape plans have also been amended to reflect the IHAP’s desire for “the soft and leafy character of the lane” to be reinstated. The new DA has a slightly meandering path and curved garden beds.

These will be planted with a mix of exotics (to tie in with the Mall) and natives, for robustness and local environmental character.

“Mass planting will provide a greener and leafier character, low planting will maintain views of the mural on the butcher's wall,” the DA said.

Wayzgoose owner, Mark Alchin, was pleased at some of the changes, including those which he himself suggested at the IHAP hearing, such as the larger windows in the rear space.

The architects consulted with a heritage expert and promised to “keep as much of the identified significant fabric of the existing building as possible, with minimal intrusion”. 

The DA will be on public exhibition from September 12.