Coogee Couple’s Dream Home in Ruins Amid Heritage Stoush

3 Berwick St Coogee
Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Coogee couple was in the process of demolishing the bungalow they bought to turn it into the duplex of their dreams when an unexpected reversal of approval and issuance of a heritage order dashed their hopes of an uneventful build. Now down by $700k in legal and mortgage fees, they anxiously await the decision that will determine the fate of their future home.

In 2022, Ali and Amanda Hassan bought a property at 3 Berwick Street in Coogee for $3.8 million, intending to replace it with a modern duplex. At first, Randwick City Council approved their plan but they faced an unexpected obstacle when the Council reversed their decision and issued a heritage order for the property. (DA/432/2022)

Initially, the NSW Land and Environment Court ruled in favour of the Hassans, but the Council managed to obtain an emergency stop-work order just a few days after the demolition had started. The order was due to the home’s supposed significance as Coogee’s first purpose-built dental surgery, dating back to the 1920s.

Photo Credit: City Plan Heritage PL

The ongoing battle has cost the family an estimated $700,000 in legal and mortgage fees already paid.

The court is on the brink of delivering its ultimate verdict after two prior hearings, with immense consequences looming. Mr Hassan disclosed that should the ruling be unfavourable, the property’s value would decrease by $1 million, causing significant distress.

Advocates of progress have become enraged by the Hassans’ situation, citing that Councils in Sydney are hindering new developments and making the housing affordability crisis worse. 

Property lawyers in the city follow the Berwick Street case unfold as the Hassans’ ordeal represents the current housing dilemma faced by homeowners whose development goals clash with Council’s preservation agendas, hurting affordable housing.

Published 6-May-2024