CONUNDRUM: Lismore City Council staff inspect a property Little Keen Street, Lismore, that was slated for demolition.
CONUNDRUM: Lismore City Council staff inspect a property Little Keen Street, Lismore, that was slated for demolition. Contributed

Big conflict in Little Keen Street

A DECAYING house in Little Keen St, Lismore, has been given a stay of execution by the Lismore council.

A development application was submitted by the owner to demolish the house, but residents in the street objected, arguing it had heritage value and there was no indication what would replace it.

In addressing the council, resident Tony Gilding said: "I invite the councillors to imagine what would happen if three houses were knocked down in your street without any plan for what was going to replace them."

He said one house had been removed and renovated somewhere else, another had been renovated on site and was now "looking like a beautiful Little Keen St property".

"The owner says the house at No.2 is dilapidated and it would be very hard to find someone to live in this house. Yet on the website it says it can be removed to your property for $98,000. So they are saying one thing on the website; that it is structurally sound and a great example of a heritage house, but the report to council says it is dilapidated and should be removed."

Cr Vanessa Ekins said the council should defer its decision until a heritage report on Little Keen St the council had previously requested was finalised.

Cr Matthew Scheibel argued it was a freehold block and the owner should be allowed to do whatever the current zoning permitted.

The vote was split 5-5, with Mayor Jenny Dowell using her casting vote to defer a decision until the completion of the heritage report, which is due in a month or two.

"At that time my vote may be different, as I acknowledge that the landowner does have a right to undertake permissible work on his property," she said.



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