The Gables, 106 Queen Street, Grafton.
The Gables, 106 Queen Street, Grafton.

Council has eye on heritage items

HOME and business owners may be sitting on a proposed heritage-listed site without even knowing it.

A community-based heritage study has proposed the addition of 289 individual heritage items to the Clarence Valley Local Environment Plan (LEP).

The contemporary heritage study of the former Grafton City Council area was years in the making for heritage adviser Jane Gardiner, who tabled the report at the latest Clarence Valley Council meeting.

Council’s manager of strategic planning Dave Morrison said the proposed 289 new items up for consideration for the LEP came as no surprise.

“Most people realise that one of the things that make Grafton different from other towns is the large number of relatively good condition houses and buildings,” he said.

Some councillors raised concerns over the community consultation process. A foreshadowed motion put forward by Cr Ian Tiley at this week’s council meeting, to advise affected landowners prior to public exhibition, was supported by other councillors.

Council will now write to all affected landowners prior to exhibition, advising them of the document to be placed on public display and outlining the public exhibition process including workshops on the study.

Mr Morrison said the only impact to houses or businesses listed on the proposed draft LEP will be the need for alteration approval.

“If they (draft addresses) get listed, the only change will be if the owners want to make significant alterations or demolish the building they will have to go through the development application process,” he said.

Over the three years of the study, members of the Grafton City Community-based Heritage Committee have identified, visited and photographed houses, business and town relics to identify potential significance.

Ms Gardiner said the purpose of the study was not only to identify new sites but to update previous listings and provide options for conserving, protecting and managing the historic and archaeological resources.

Mayor Richie Williamson said the latest document was one that would be used well into the future,

“The heritage of the Clarence is a leading item in our strategic document ‘Valley Vision 20/20’ and that has outlined the significance of heritage in our community and in our Valley,” he said.

“The process we are embarking on will highlight some significant heritage items in Grafton and South Grafton, noting that we have already been through the process some years ago in Maclean and the Lower Clarence.”

The draft list of potential items will go on public exhibition after affected landowners have been notified.

A full list of the proposed sites is available for viewing on the council website.



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