Business owner fights to save heritage house
The property, historically known as ‘Dr Yeates’ house’, is on the corner of Fawcett and Cherry streets near the Richmond River, and housed the town’s doctor as far back as the 1920s.
The application, lodged by Ardill Payne and Partners on behalf of the owner, Barry Crowley, is for the demolition of the building.
Ms Davis said she had received a letter from the council informing nearby business owners of the proposed demolition, making her sad and disappointed.
“It is about local pride and character,” Ms Davis said.
“Things from the past should be recognised and preserved. It would be such a big mistake to let it go. If it gets demolished we can never get it back. It is a part of Ballina’s history.”
Ms Davis said she would be making a submission to the council opposing the demolition, and would be starting a petition to the same effect.
The building has been nominated in the Ballina Shire Council’s draft shirewide community-based heritage study as having heritage significance.
The study recommends the building be listed in the Ballina Local Environment Plan as an item of environmental heritage, as part of Ballina’s historic waterfront heritage trail.
The draft study states the house is associated with the early 20th Century history of the delivery of health services to the Ballina Shire, as well as being an example of vernacular North Coast architecture.
However, the draft study has not yet been adopted or ratified by the council.
Former Ballina councillor John Felsch said he remembered being treated for appendicitis as a boy at Dr Yeates’ house, with his mother as the assistant nurse.
The building is a two-storey weatherboard and corrugated metal roof cottage, which has a detached garage.
In 1980 the residence was converted into professional rooms and living quarters.
It is currently a private residence.
The development application is on public exhibition until December 5, and can be also viewed on the council’s website at www.ballina.nsw.gov.au.
There has been no application lodged with the council to redevelop the site.
The Northern Star was yesterday unable to contact the owner.