In November 2020 we were alerted by residents of North Turramurra that the Glengarry Girl Guides site was up for sale. The site covers 8.1 hectares and is zoned RE2, private recreation.
From the Miowera Road access the site is fairly level with a large hall, commercial kitchen, accommodation, multi-purpose cottages and rooms as well as outdoor recreation spaces. The rest of the site is high quality bushland on a steep slope that is bordered by the popular Glengarry fire trail and Darri walking track.
The bushland portion contains significant habitat elements such as hollow bearing trees, rocky outcrops, major creek lines and riparian zone that would cater for a diversity of native fauna species including threatened species such as the Powerful Owl. Walkers in the area have observed Lyrebirds, numerous small birds and seasonal visits by Goshawks. As the land has been privately owned there has not been any detailed ecological survey.
This land was donated to the Girl Guides in the 1930s for community use. They own two adjoining blocks to the north that were also donated to the Guides and are held under a Reserve Trust. They are zoned E2 and link to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The whole sequence of blocks is part of the Cowan Creek Reserve of high biodiversity value.
In December the Girl Guides announced that:
The Board has approved the purchase of Glengarry by the preferred party and contracts have been exchanged. The purchase exhibits benefit to our Association, residents, and the community at large and includes a licence agreement of six years’ access for Guiding.
The purchaser is a community organisation. Their identity has not been disclosed. There's a big risk the purchaser may try to rezone the land for housing. (This happened to other Girl Guide owned land in Miowera Road in 2010.)
In STEP’s view any increase in population should not occur in this bushfire prone and high risk bushfire evacuation area. It could also be used for recreational purposes that would be detrimental to the ecology of the bushland.
We will be watching developments closely. Please alert us if you hear anything.