285 homes at old farm site

Buildings associated with a 130-year-old dairy homestead in Kembla Grange will be knocked down to make way for hundreds of homes, under a proposal before Wollongong council.

Developers have lodged a plan to demolish various farm sheds and other outbuildings surrounding the heritage listed Stane-Dykes homestead, on Sheaffes Road, to allow for a 285-home subdivision.

The single-storey sandstone house has been owned by the same family since the 1880s.

According to heritage reports submitted to Wollongong council, it is considered to be an intact example of a Victorian regency-era home with 1930s Californian Bungalow additions.

Under the subdivision plan, the homestead would remain as a heritage lot, however 13 other structures associated with the house would be razed.

The 44.78 hectare site is located within the West Dapto Urban Release Area, which will eventually be home to about 50,000 people.

It would be developed in six stages and, in addition to the 280 homes, would include four parcels of open space.

These would contain various infrastructure including shared paths, public amenities, playgrounds, a playing field and picnic shelters.

If approved, homes in the subdivision will be built next to the old West Dapto School, another heritage listed property which opened in 1882.

In a number of detailed heritage assessments lodged with the demolition and subdivision applications, consultants said Stane Dykes – also sometimes called Stan Dyke – was built by Scottish man George McPhail in the early 1880s.

It was passed through his family until, in 1933, it was sold to his grandson Lachlan who decided to move the residence to its current setting, closer to Sheaffes Road.

The homestead is considered rare within the Kembla Grange/West Dapto area due to its sandstone construction, consultants said, and the fact that it was moved is “considered to demonstrate a degree of technical achievement”. 

The Stane Dykes property is also evidence of the rural history, particularly dairy farming, within the area, the heritage plan said.

A direct fourth-generation descendant of the original owners, Duncan McPhail still owns the property after buying it from his father, Lachan in 1968.

He – along with a number of development companies – has jointly lodged the application to demolish the outbuildings and subdivide the land.

Both development applications - for the site demolition and the subdivision - will be on public exhibition through the council's website until July 7.

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