‘Easy' to sidestep a heritage law

Cr Margaret McKenna.
Cr Margaret McKenna.

PEOPLE who own heritage-listed buildings in the Clarence Valley only have to complain loudly to gain exemptions to regulations, claims a councillor.

Cr Margaret McKenna was dismayed at Clarence Valley Council's decision on Tuesday to exempt three properties in Grafton and South Grafton from heritage-listing regulations because "they complained the loudest".

Cr McKenna said council staff recommended all 44 properties with heritage values recommended by the Heritage Committee after a long period of study and consultation with the owners, be subject to the regulations.

She said four owners of heritage buildings continued to object to the proposed listing because it lowered the value of their properties.

She moved three of them be included and one largely derelict building be left off.

However, Cr Ian Tiley moved an amendment to drop all four from the list.

"He said he didn't want the council to be seen as a dictator," Cr McKenna said.

"But what about all the other owners with heritage properties?

"This decision could be seen as lowering their property values."

Topics:  heritage-listed buildings regulations

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