March 22, 2024 Update: Request for another Interim Heritage Order (IHO)

Waverley Council is seeking another Interim Heritage Order (IHO) for 34 Flood Street, Bondi.

It comes after the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) recommended to the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) that the synagogue should not be heritage listed as a local heritage item in the Waverley Local Environmental Plan (WLEP) 2012 in its Advice Report dated 13 March 2024.

Council’s IHO on the site was valid for one year and expired in early February. Council is not able to seek a second IHO but can apply to the Minister for Heritage, Penny Sharpe for another IHO.

On Tuesday night, Council resolved to write to Minister Sharpe seeking a second IHO to allow the ongoing State Heritage Register (SHR) assessment of the building to be properly completed before the Department decides it should be listed as a heritage item under the Waverley LEP 2012 based on the IPC’s recommendation.

The synagogue is recognised as a ground-breaking building for its time and displays architect Seidler’s distinctive interpretation of the Bauhaus style. It also has strong historical significance for the development of Jewish religion in NSW because it is the first Talmudical school with integral synagogue.

How the community can help?

To request that Minister Sharpe grant an Interim Heritage Order on the site to allow time for Heritage NSW to complete its assessment for state heritage-listing, email

To provide feedback to Paul Scully, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, email

Please read Council's media release on this issue where Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos has said “Currently, there is a brief opportunity for Council and the community to advocate to the Department on this matter, raising concerns about IPC’s Advice Report and reiterating the site’s heritage merits,” Mayor Masselos said. “The Department has until 5 April 2024 to make their final decision; however, they may determine the planning proposal before this deadline, leaving the synagogue at risk of demolition.”

Community Consultation in 2023

From 3 August - 14 September 2023, Council sought community feedback on the proposed heritage listing of the Harry Seidler-designed synagogue at 34 Flood Street, Bondi.

A detailed Heritage Assessment of 34 Flood Street was prepared in May 2023 by Hector Abrahams Architects. It determined that the synagogue building towards the Flood Street frontage has heritage significance, rendering it worthy of local heritage listing in the Waverley Local Environmental Plan (WLEP) 2012 (Heritage Items in Schedule 5 and on the Heritage Map).

Specifically, the Assessment found that the synagogue and former Sydney Talmudical College has heritage significance as:

  • A seminal work in the civic and sculptural concrete architecture of the pre-eminent Australian Modern architect Harry Seidler, displaying the application of Bauhaus principles for which he is known.
  • The largest and best example of thin concrete shell technology of the 1950s in NSW.
  • One of the most architecturally distinguished religious chambers of the immediate post-war period in NSW and one of the finest synagogues of the period.
  • An historically important place in the development of Jewish religion in NSW, the post-war migration period, as the first Talmudical school with integral synagogue.
  • Highly representative of the history of post-war migration in NSW, being the establishment of a new religious building and educational institution by a migrant community.
  • A place held in high esteem by the Jewish community of Waverley and broader afield.

Heritage listing this building as an item under the WLEP 2012 will provide ongoing protection and recognition of the heritage significance of the building and its interiors. Refer to the FAQs on this page for further detail on what heritage listing a site means for a property and future development on that site.

To amend the WLEP 2012, a Planning Proposal needs to be supported by Council and submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). Waverley Council supported the submission of this Planning Proposal at the 6 June 2023 Strategic Planning and Development Committee meeting. DPE supported the Planning Proposal to proceed to public exhibition by granting it Gateway Determination on 2 August 2023.

Feedback received during this exhibition will be considered by Council in late 2023. Council will then prepare a recommendation for DPE regarding whether the site should be heritage listed or not. DPE are the Local Plan-Making Authority (LPMA) making the final decision.

Please note that this Planning Proposal is entirely separate to Meriton’s recent Planning Proposal, which requests to change the zone of 34 Flood Street, Bondi. The exhibition period for that rezoning has now closed.