Nov 022014
 

The former Brisbane Water County Council (BWCC) building was designed by Henry Helman in Post-War International Style and was constructed between 1955 and 1957 at 50 Mann Street Gosford. The town was very proud of the project, and it featured local sandstone fascia provided by Gosford Quarries, and many fittings and furnishings from local companies. The meeting rooms were wood panelled, and the mechanism for operating the clock tower was controlled from a bookcase shaped to reflect the design of the outer building and clock tower. 1

The timber members boards and chair from the Brisbane Waters County Council is on display at the Brisbane Water Historical Society museum at Henry Kendall Cottage.

The following is an extract from the Planning Assessment Report – Development Application DA 81-04-2004 and describes some of the main features of the building. 2

Of particular significance are the BWCC building’s sandstone facade and prominent clock tower to Mann St, its entry foyer and staircase which retain original details and finishes, and an internal bas relief panel representing an Assyrian hunting scene.
The Review considers the building is significant for its history and townscape presence, as a fine and rare example of the Inter-War Functionalist style in the Gosford area, as being largely constructed of local materials, with various design details surviving intact, and valuable for its demonstrable heritage in the Gosford region.
The Review recommended retention of the following features of the building:
(a) the original foyer staircase;
(b) the entry doors; and
(c) all timber joinery and all decorative internal doors (eg. doors to Council Chamber).

The Review’s inventory sheet for the building describes other features such as cladding and tiles, timber entry doors (with etched glazing), external and internal joinery, and book case and replica clock in the former BWCC manager’s office. The inventory sheet was prepared prior to recent modifications to the building.

Timeline

1955-1957 – BWCC building constructed on southern side of block at 50 Mann St Gosford.
1972 – Extension to the north of the original building added.
1 January 1980 – BWCC amalgamated to become Sydney County Council.
Late 1990s – The old County Council building was briefly the home of the Northern Eagles football team.
25 July 2005 – Development Application – Commercial Premise And Hotel And Residential Flat Building DA Approved BY Minister 25/7/2005 & Departments Application Number -Da 81-04-2004 (file NO S04/00783) 3

Lodged: 19/06/2002
Determined: 25/07/2005 Approved by Minister Planning
Estimated Cost of Work: $ 75,000,000
Officer: Peter Pegg

25 July 2005 – Development Application – Commercial Premise And Hotel And Residential Flat Building DA Approved BY Minister 25/7/2005 & Departments Application Number -Da 81-04-2004 (file NO S04/00783) 4

Lodged: 19/06/2002
Determined: 25/07/2005 Approved by Minister Planning
Estimated Cost of Work: $ 75,000,000
Officer: Peter Pegg

8 February 2006 – Application made to Gosford City Council for the dismantlement & storage of clock tower. Application approved 13/6/2006. Fascia of clock tower later removed [Date for these works is unknown].
16 July 2010 – Construction Certificate – Commercial Premise And Hotel And Residential Flat Building DA Approved BY Minister 25/7/2005 & Departments Application Number -Da 81-04-2004 (file NO S04/00783) 5

Lodged: 21/07/2010
Determined: 16/07/2010 Approved by Private Certifier
Estimated Cost of Work: $ 71,280,000
Officer: Private Certifying Authority
Applicant : Spurbest Pty Ltd
Principal Certifying Authority : McKenize Group Consulting NSW Pty Ltd

12 December 2015 – Gosford City Council approves mixed use development including commercial, residential (shop top housing), cinema, hotel and tavern for 50-70 Mann St Gosford (former BWCC and Frogys/Waltons buildings) application lodged: 29/01/2015. Some of the features of the heritage building must be retained and conserved. Application consent is only applicable from 18 December 2015 for 2 years. 6

Determined:  Approved by JRPP
Estimated Cost of Work: $ 234,364,612
Officer: Michael Leavey Applicant : New Hong Kong Macau Australian Pty Ltd
Principal Certifying Authority : To Be Advised
Builder : To Be Advised

20 April 2017 – CKDS Architecture Pty Ltd make application to Central Coast Council for to allow demolition of part of the site prior to the issue of a construction certificate. This work would include the demolition of the Frogys building at 70 Mann Street and the old Central Coast Leagues Club youth centre at 114-128 Georgiana Terrace.
April 2017For photos of interior of BWCC click here.

 

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Brisbane Water County Council (BWCC) - Gosford -33.428236, 151.341348 Brisbane Water County Council (BWCC) - Gosford

 

Notes:

  1. Gosford City Council Local Studies Collection
  2. Planning Assessment Report – Development Application DA 81-04-2004 – Department of Planning & Environment
  3. Central Coast Council Building and Development
  4. Central Coast Council Building and Development
  5. Central Coast Council Building and Development
  6. Central Coast Council Building and Development

  7 Responses to “Brisbane Water County Council (BWCC) – Gosford”

  1. the only point of contention for Council seems to be the new owners want to return to the propised 22 storey height approval under Spurbest proposal? Will Council both sacrifice the heritage listed building and give the extra height extension?

    When parts of the sandstone facade, including a nice bas relief sculpture, were removed by Spurbest, ‘for safetys sake’ they undertook to replace them if that deal fell through, according to their architect Paul Rappoport, and the sign erected at front of building.

    There was also a working model of the clock tower stored inside with the removed sandstone, and the building contained a nice Board room.

    The specially selected sandstone facade blocks supplied at a discount rate by Gosford Quarries in order to showcase the quality of local stone, opposite the Council Chambers. ( The original i tent was to tile the front.)

    I wonder what has happened to these things now that the building has been left to vandals. Is GCC interested on salvaging the bas relief as part of the development deal, or has it too been vandalised?

  2. My father, the late Clifford Roy Thew was County Clerk of Brisbane Water County Council for many years. As the building is to demolished to make way for a new development, I was wondering what might happen to the plaque at the front of the BWCC as it has my father’s name on it. I would be very keen to acquire it for sentimental reasons, ie if it is not incorporated into the new building. Could you possibly advise me of the plaque’s future and whether I might have any chance of procuring it please? I would hate it to be vandalised.

    Yours faithfully
    Margaret Kelman (Thew)

    • Margaret, Thank you for your query. I have responded to your question via email.

    • Margaret,
      The foundation stone in the Brisbane Water County Council is to be retained, as this is one of the conditions for the property developer. I have listed the other features (some of these have been damaged through vandalism) in the following link – Photos inside BWCC

  3. Who owns this building now? Where can I get permission to photograph it?

    • Hi Linda,
      The applicant of the DA is “New Hong Kong Macau Australian Pty Ltd”.

      Generally developers do not allow people to enter derelict buildings to photograph them for many reasons, but the number one reason that you will be refused is to protect your health and safety.
      Please don’t let this put you off as you will have no chance of entry if you don’t ask.
      The architects contact details are below and they may be able to assist:
      CKDS Architecture
      1/28 Adelaide St
      EAST GOSFORD NSW 2250
      Email: pjones@ckds.com.au

      Please feel free to let me know how you progress with the access as I too would be interested in access and the condition of the buildings features that were to be preserved.

    • Hi Linda,
      Earlier this year you were enquiring about photographs inside the Brisbane Water County Council building. I was recently provided photos and you can find them at the following link – Photos inside BWCC

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