Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Heritage or Development?

A 90 year old house on Coimadai Road, Diggers Rest (Athenry) is marked for destruction but some local residents have applied to council for a heritage listing.

Photograph: David and mother Kath Kilgariff, local residents Maggie Barker, Kelli Lorraine and Alex Jinks. Photo: Kris Reichl Source: News Corp Australia
The entire site is planned for residential redevelopment with a road that would go through the land of the old home.

The concerns for preserving the house for heritage was initially published by a Facebook account owned by David O'Connor and received mixed responses. In general, residents are in favour of preserving the quirky heritage house and some have fond memories. Other residents stated that the house was sold to the current owners with the knowledge that it would be demolished.

Speaking to some of the folk directly involved in this debate, it would appear that they have concerns that Diggers Rest is losing most of its history to make way for the new urban growth. I was also informed that the house is now a ruin and nobody has come forth to sponsor a major renovation. Parties on both sides are very upset with the way that the situation is unfolding.

The Melton City Council has taken the heritage request to the Minister for Planning for adjudication. 

There are so many questions in local minds. Should a 90 year old quirky house be preserved? Would it be reestablished to its former glory or gradually decline in the same manner as the burned out hotel? Should a community group form a historical society to identify and agree which structures must be preserved? Why haven't the residents raised any concerns about the eight stated heritage sites that are marked for destruction as part of the outer ring road development?

The outcomes are uncertain and its all down to the logical inclusions report which you may be able to view on the City of Melton website in April.

Reports are sure to continue...

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Michel de Montaigne once said, "The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold...The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbor creates a war betwixt princes."

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