Heritage cordial factory at risk
THE demolition of Kyogle’s 98-year-old Leverett’s Cordials factory is expected to be approved by Kyogle Council at next Monday’s meeting.
Local heritage advocate Damien Paull, who ran for council on a heritage platform in 2007, is resigned to the fate of the building while still hopeful future councils might initiate protection mechanisms.
“We are several years into the new council and there is still no action, despite some councillors running on a heritage platform,” he said.
As reported in yesterday’s Northern Star, Kyogle effectively has no heritage planning controls while it waits for council to finalise itsLocal Environment Plan.
A spokesman for Kyogle’s planning department said the former factory would be considered on its merit, but he believed the poor condition of the building would determine its fate.
But reports of the building being termite-ridden have been questioned by a previous prospective buyer, Rafe Falkiner, who inspected the building last year.
“I looked it right over and couldn’t find any evidence of termites,” he said.
However, Mr Falkiner was concerned he would be required to jump through a multitude of heritage hoops to get his restoration DA through, while the current proposal bypasses those obstacles by simply demolishing the building.
Mr Paull believes Kyogle is not only losing its history, but he also estimates the town has missed out on about $250,000 in government funding to protect its history.
“Just look at Moree. Its main street is just glorious because they protected their buildings,” he said.
Graham Quint, from the National Trust, agrees, blaming short-sighted councils and a State Government that granted its planning minister extraordinary powers just last week to remove buildings from the State Heritage Register without consent from the Heritage Council.
“We’re extremely concerned some councils areneglecting to investigate and list some of the most important heritage items in the State.
“Not only does this put these places under threat of demolition for redevelopment, it also directly affects their tourism pull,” he said.