Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Mayor calls for better heritage protections

City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters Mayor, Robert Bria, has called on his Council to increase the protection of heritage buildings in the Council area.

At this month’s meeting, councillors unanimously supported Mayor Bria’s Notice of Motion calling for staff to report “identifying key risks and opportunities, such as Heritage Code Amendments, for the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters in regards to unprotected heritage and where appropriate, make recommendations to the Council regarding any action it should take to increase protection for such buildings”.

Mayor Bria said growing community concern about the loss of the City’s unique stock of heritage buildings, including the recent proposed demolition of the properties located at 73 and 75 William Street in Norwood, required a response from Council.

“In recent months, I have been contacted by a number of people, ranging from residents to architects, expressing concern about the future of our City’s unique buildings, particularly in Norwood,” Mayor Bria said.

“Even though 73 and 75 William Street are not heritage listed – as they did not meet the criteria – the threat of their demolition piqued the interest of the Norwood community and beyond,” he said.

Mayor Bria also pointed to the findings of a 2019 survey of owners of Contributory Items, which showed that more than 80% of respondents wanted the current level of protection of Contributory Items to remain the same or be increased.

“All of this tells me that now is the time for the Council to reaffirm its credentials as a leader in Local Government when it comes to heritage by identifying the key risks and opportunities in regards to unprotected buildings in our City,” he said.

Mayor Bria said the scope of his Notice of Motion was deliberately broad so as not to limit staff in their analysis and recommendations to the Council.

“It is important at this early stage that the analysis to be undertaken by staff is not confined to particular suburbs or building styles or periods, but instead explore all of the risks and opportunities before the Council decides where it wants to narrow its focus,” said Mayor Bria.

He said that despite his Council’s success in leading the effort to have Contributory Items (now referred to as Representative Buildings) transited into the State Government’s new Planning and Development Code, “the quest for greater protection of the City’s local heritage is not over”.

The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters currently has 73 State Heritage Places, 661 Local Heritage Places and 1464 Representative Buildings (formerly Contributory Items).

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