Heritage win for council at Local Government NSW 2019 conference

At the Local Government NSW conference last week, Blue Mountains Council received support to strengthen local heritage provisions to ensure heritage buildings do not end up demolished by neglect.

LGNSW will now write to the Department of Premier and Cabinet (heritage division) to align minimum standards of maintenance and repair for local items with state significant ones.

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said in the Mountains there are about 1000 local listed heritage items, but government has limited powers to make owners keep the properties in a reasonable state of repair.

"This built heritage significantly contributes to the character of our towns and villages, and represents an important connection with the history of the Mountains," Cr Greenhill said.

"A number of these buildings have fallen into disrepair, leading to further damage ... such as weather proofing. Ultimately, without intervention, this could result in demolition of heritage by neglect."

Under the Heritage Act 1977, there are minimum standards of maintenance and repair required for buildings or relics listed on the State Heritage Register. The motion [accepted at the conference] calls for these same standards [under the Act] to apply to locally listed items, and that local and state governments be provided with the powers to enforce these requirements.