The Art Deco-style buildings demolished in Kyogle last year to make way for a new IGA supermarket in the town’s main street.
The Art Deco-style buildings demolished in Kyogle last year to make way for a new IGA supermarket in the town’s main street. David Nielsen

Kyogle LEP record a 'black spot'

THE National Trust has fired a shot at Kyogle Council on the eve of its heritage awards over the demolition of a row of Art Deco shops on Kyogle’s main street last year.

The shops were cleared to make way for a supermarket.

The trust’s advocacy officer, Graham Quint, described the demolition as one of two black spots in the State last year and expressed serious concerns about Kyogle’s lack of a functioning local environment plan.

Under the current system, historical buildings have no heritage protection unless listed on a local government LEP, or the State Government’s Heritage Register, prompting some residents to call it open season on historical structures in Kyogle.

Kyogle Council is the only council of the five local government areas on the Northern Rivers without a functioning LEP.

A planning department spokesman for the Kyogle Council said there was no specific time frame to formalise the proposed LEP, though there was an agreement with the State Government last year to have ‘something gazetted’ within two years.

“We’re currently seeking consent from council topublicly advertise the LEP so we can begin the public consultation process,” he said.

Meanwhile, fears have been raised that Kyogle is losing significant and irreplaceable heritage buildings following a December approval to demolish an historic Nissen hut in Bloore Street, and the move by the general manager at an extraordinary council meeting last month to fast track the demolition of the old cordial factory in Wyangarie Street.

Council voted to hold that decision over to next week’s ordinary meeting.

All significant historical buildings in Kyogle were identified in a 1996 study by heritage consultants Godden Mackay, commissioned at considerable expense by Kyogle Council.

But no process of heritage protection has been formalised in the 12 years since then.

Mr Quint described the situation as a frustrating Catch 22 and said councils without an LEP to accommodate heritage conservation should put a hold on demolition of any historic structures.

“They can’t have it both ways. They can’t keep saying buildings (earmarked fordemolition) are not heritage listed when they are the ones solely responsible for listing them in the first place,” he said.

DOES KYOGLE COUNCIL NEED A FUNCTIONING LOCAL ENVIRONMENT PLAN?

SMS 0428 264 948 or email opinions@northernstar.com.au



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