Restoring Heritage buildings

Greater Sydney Parklands has been making great progress in restoring heritage buildings in Callan Park. Gradually more buildings will be restored and adapted as outlined in the Callan Park Landscape Structure Plan.

With renovations complete on Bonnyview (the Gardener's Cottage) and the Repatriation Ward (Building 497), these buildings are ready to be activated and adapted for community uses that complement the parkland.  

Not just anyone can apply, though, as the buildings can only be used for health, education or community (not-for-profit) purposes.

The history of the buildings

The former Repatriation Ward (B497), Callan ParkChanging practices in mental health care emerged in response to the high numbers of shell-shocked soldiers returning from the First World War. Broughton Hall Estate was offered to the government to accommodate shell-shocked soldiers in 1915, becoming the 13th Army Auxiliary Hospital, the first hospital facility dealing specifically with soldiers' mental health. After this time, repatriation services became one of the main functions of Callan Park, with additional facilities built in the grounds. Repatriation Hospital Ward B (B497) was the first purpose-built ward constructed in the early 1920s to a design by the Government Architect. The design is arranged around a central mess hall with ward wings at each side.

Located adjacent to the waterfront zone, the building is classified as having low heritage significance in the 2002 and the 2011 Conservation Management Plans for the overall site. However, there is no doubt that B497 has historical and social value as the first purpose-built structure related to the Repatriation Hospital.

 Bonnyview (the Gardener’s Cottage) B205, Callan Park Bonnyview was constructed in the 1870s as the first purpose-built structure to be erected on site as part of the Callan Park Mental Asylum. This building predates the Kirkbride. It was known as the Gardener's Cottage and accommodated patients in the early days of the Callan Park Hospital. It supported Garry Owen house and several temporary buildings before the completion of the Kirkbride block.

Bonnyview is part of Government Architect James Barnet's original design for the Callan Park Hospital and exhibits a high level of design and workmanship in its construction. A deliberate decision of Barnet was to situate the building to take in views of Iron Cove, and its setting remains picturesque today. Over the years, several alterations and additions have been made, including its conversion to the Assistant Medical Superintendent residence around 1910. The 2002 and 2011 Conservation Management Plans for Callan Park ascribe Bonnyview an exceptional level of heritage significance for its aesthetic and historical importance.

Request for proposals for Building 497 now open

Proposals to lease Building 497 are now open for interested community not-for-profit groups, including district and local sports groups.

A tenant is being sought to occupy, manage access, and use Building 497 by multiple community user groups to ensure that the asset is used for a beneficial community purpose. The building is secured and maintained throughout the lease term.

Building 497 is located within the Waterfront Sporting Ground precinct and is envisaged as a community facility which caters to the needs of multiple user groups and complements the existing uses on site, particularly those on Waterfront Sporting Ground fields managed by the Inner West Council.

A lease term of up to 10 years is being offered.

Find out more about the Callan Park Building 497 lease tender details and apply.

Go to tender details

The adopted Landscape Structure Plan for Callan Park recommends retaining all buildings of moderate, high or exceptional heritage value to provide opportunities to enhance the unique character areas and open spaces of Callan Park. One of the priorities of the plan is to select 'appropriate' tenants to manage the buildings.

Greater Sydney Parklands will be seeking capable, experienced and financially viable proposals from potential tenants to occupy and manage access and use of the buildings.

The Request for Proposals will be seeking to ensure that the assets are activated, used for a purpose that benefits the community, and that the buildings are secured and maintained throughout the lease tenure – i.e. any tenant must pay maintenance costs of the building going forward.

In keeping with the requirements in the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002, only not-for-profit activities may be undertaken on Callan Park. We are inviting proposals for uses that align with the Callan Park Act, i.e. health, community or education not-for-profit groups interested in leasing the buildings, excluding retirement villages.

In the case of Building 497 it has been identified in the Landscape Structure Plan to be used for a community sporting purpose due to its location close to the sports field and the need for this type of facility in Callan Park.

NSW Government Procurement Guidelines require that Requests for Proposals for leases are advertised publicly on the NSW Government eTendering website and undertaken in a publicly transparent process.

The Request for Proposals documentation will contain the evaluation criteria to assess all proposals received for the buildings.

All proposals lodged are to be treated as commercial-in-confidence and will be assessed against the criteria published in the Request for Proposals documentation. With assistance from external advisers (as required), an evaluation panel will be established to assess the proposals received against criteria advertised in the Request for Proposal documentation. A recommendation of preferred proponents to enter into final negotiations and execute leases will be made to the Greater Sydney Parklands Board for approval.

Under the Callan Park Act, the Minister is required to publicly advertise any proposed lease, including the main terms and to consider any submissions received from the community prior to entering into a lease. The community will be able to have a say.

It is not intended that any green space would be affected or lost by the leasing program. The existing building footprints will not be changed.