23 December 2014

Heritage: worth protecting?

Council recently one a case in the Environment, Resources and Development Court over a proposed demolition of a 100 year old home in Salisbury St, North Unley. The owner had argued to Council's Development Assessment Panel  that the cost to restore the house far outweighed the cost of demolition and replacement. However, the applicant in her appeal failed to convince the commissioner  and the matter was summed up, “The appellant has failed to show that the property was unsafe or so unsound that it could not be economically rehabilitated. Whilst the house is not in an Historic Conservation Zone, and the house is not a state or local heritage place, it seems to us that the Development Plan seeks to those elements of the streetscape, such as the house, which demonstrate the desired attributes”. The villa concerned sits in the middle of 3 identical properties that are now all on the Local Heritage register (although number 8 was not at the time the application was lodged).
This was an important decision for Council as it gives greater protection to all homes within the heritage conservation areas. However, in light of mooted changes to the development assessment process currently being considered by the state government this may all amount to nothing if the heritage zones are removed at the sweep of John Rau's pen! 

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