OWNERS of 250 properties added to Orange’s heritage list as part of the latest heritage study, shouldn’t be scared of the inclusion on the list, according to the report’s contributors.
Historical society president Phil Stevenson said an inclusion on the list should be seen as a positive by property owners.
“It doesn’t prescribe anything really it just says if they change the use or develop it the heritage values have to be considered,” he said.
“In older parts of Orange a heritage listing is a big plus.”
Cr Neil Jones agreed and said a lot had changed since the last study in 1986.
“[A heritage listing] does not mean that a property can’t be demolished,” he said.
“It does not mean that the property can’t be changed externally ... and it does not mean that the curtilage [surrounds] of the building can’t be changed.”
Cr Jones said if buildings are beyond being saved the listing means it is photographed and catalogued so it is preserved for all time.
He said some council areas offer a rate rebate to heritage properties to encourage their preservation and restoration, which he feels Orange City Council could consider.
“We need to look at how as a community we can support property owners whose property contributes to the broad heritage value of the town,” he said.
Development services director, David Waddell said council encouraged adaptive reuse of heritage sites with incentives such as granting development that would otherwise not be allowed in the area, in a bid to encourage conservation.
“In many ways it’s the continual development and evolution of heritage buildings that helps save them,” he said.
As part of the study a new heritage conservation area (HCA) will be established to protect the duration cottages built during World War II in the Glenroi Heights area.
Mr Stevenson said the cottages, built to house workers at the nearby small arms factory, were a big part of Orange’s history.
The Spring Hill HCA will be reduced to the original boundaries of the village, while the central heritage conservation area and other areas in Lucknow and east Orange will remain unchanged.
Mr Stevenson said protecting heritage can attract tourism and new residents to the city.
“It gives the town a consciousness of its past,” he said.
He said the attitude to heritage buildings in the 1950s and 1960s compared to now was like “chalk and cheese”.
“Just to see how houses are kept up now is a sign of how much they value the heritage,” he said.
The report will come back to Orange City Council for adoption at a meeting on June 7.