Double standards at Cessnock Council

Double standards at Cessnock Council
Cessnock Council descended into farce on Wednesday night when it voted to adopt a Heritage Policy to protect heritage items and at the same meeting voted  to allow the demolition of the roof of a heritage listed hotel.
The Heritage Policy says Council is committed to recognising, protecting enhancing and promoting  European and Aboriginal heritage in the Cessnock Local Government Area.  
The report to Councillors from qualified staff said::
Given the building is identified as a landmark building, it would follow that the visual
appearance and the external fabric of the building is an important component in the heritage
significance of the building. The building is also very prominent in the local landscape and
visible from a wide catchment of the Kurri Kurri township. It is therefore difficult to support a
position that the external fabric and appearance of the building is of low importance to the
heritage significance of the item.
Despite this advice the majority ALP Council  voted to allow the demolition of the roof.
Chelmsford Hotel
Greens Councillor James Ryan said ‘This is one of those grand historic hotels that give the coalfields so much character.’
‘To allow this beautiful building to be substantially altered and not be restored in a sympathetic way is a tragedy.’ said Councillor Ryan. ‘Council was prepared to be flexible, it  offered cost effective alternatives to allow the re-roofing to be done in a way which would reflect the heritage values of the hotel.’
‘Council also wrote to the hotel owners advising them that they were elgible for heritage grants of up to $100,000.’
‘It’s hard to believe that Cessnock Council Heritage Policy means anything if it is prepared to be adopt such double standards in a single meeting.’
‘I believe  heritage buildings in Cessnock are under threat. They need to be refurbished in a way that supports continued re-use but is sympathetic to their heritage values.’
‘I invite heritage minded property investors to consider purchasing in Cessnock to help us save what is left.’

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