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Bathurst Regional Council elections – Heritage Matters

 

The National Trust and Bathurst Heritage Network have prepared information in relation to heritage in the lead up to the Council elections.  Our purpose is to enable candidates to put into the public discourse some of the ideas and words that are now part of the movement to protect, enhance and promote our built, cultural and natural heritage. We need candidates to commit to:

 

Protect, enhance and promote the heritage of the Bathurst region.

 

Our buildings and places        ………………
Our environment                    ………………        and their stories
Our people                                ………………
Our objects                                 ………………

 

For example, we need to:

 

  • Protect the buildings and the heritage streetscapes of the Central Heritage Conservation Area, the vistas and natural environment
  •  Enhance the residential and commercial precincts in the conservation areas, such as Keppel Street and the Railway precinct and the liveability of Bathurst
  • Promote heritage through tourism, awards and recognition, museums and sites.

 

We have identified some of the key threats to the heritage of Bathurst:

 

  • Significant regular demolition of streetscape elements.  The alternative of ‘reinstatement’ such as occurred at 70 & 72 Rocket Street and 12 William Street is a desirable and viable alternative to demolition.
  • Poor quality infill developments within heritage streetscapes with ‘fake’ heritage allowed rather than reinstatement of the original building presentations
  • Urban sprawl over the hillsides and piecemeal development in the central residential areas rather than creative, visionary housing strategy within a comprehensive planning vision
  • Failure to require compliance with Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan clauses as they relate to the conservation areas
  • Failure to develop proactive strategies to ensure appropriate development of landmark sites in the conservation area
  • Compromised processes for engineer’s reports and heritage impact statements for development applications in the central conservation area.

 

We expect that candidates who are supportive of protecting, enhancing and promoting the unique heritage of Bathurst will:

 

  • recognise the importance of the built, natural and cultural heritage of the Bathurst region to the lifestyle of the community and to its economy;

 

  • commit to the implementation of the Bathurst Region Heritage Plan adopted by Bathurst Regional Council in July 2017;

 

  • strongly support the participation of the community through the Heritage Reference Group of the Council;

 

  • oppose medium and high-density housing and commercial development in the central conservation area as it is incompatible with the unique heritage streetscapes of the central conservation area;

 

  • describe a vision to protect the built and natural heritage of Bathurst as we absorb a growing population and maintain the liveability of our region;

 

  • strongly support working with the community heritage groups and the Bathurst Council Heritage Reference Group to find alternatives to demolition of our heritage assets.