Letter to the editor


Rare and worth preserving

I refer to Tony Cairns' letter to the Times in which he supports the development on the Police Paddock.

Dr Cairns states that the buildings to the north and east of Solus Street have already impacted on the curtilage surrounding Braidwood and that building more houses would not be detrimental to this aspect of the town.

However, in the Statement of Heritage Impact prepared by Navin Officer Heritage Consultants and filed in support of the application for sub-division, the consultants state “the proposed development will blur the sharp transition between the built and pastoral landscape north of Braidwood. The inclusion of the pastoral land to the north, south and east of Braidwood village within the listing of Braidwood and its setting indicates the importance of maintaining this cultural landscape.”

In respect to the visual impact of the development, the consultants state that the building envelopes have been reduced in size.

However, when even the consultants employed by the developers admit that the development will have such an impact, one wonders how Dr Cairns can state that there will be no impact.

I have examined the amendments to the application filed recently which show designs of the proposed houses to be erected on the blocks as well as a simulation of the views from the road.

I was shocked at the impact which the house at the eastern end of Solus Street would have on drivers approaching Braidwood. It would be right in front of them.

I have also seen the archaeological report of GML Heritage, which states that "the archaeological remains of the mounted police barracks are state significant for their historical, associative and rarity values" and that they are contained in one allotment, Lot 4.

Even though the remains are not within the building envelope, how can their integrity be guaranteed? Who can tell whether they will not be interfered with for some reason or another? It may also be difficult for archaeologists to have access to the site.

Dr Cairns says that Braidwood doesn't make the top 10 historical towns in NSW. It appears this list comes from the Daily Telegraph.

However, if you look at the website of the Office of Environment and Heritage, Braidwood is one of the four items listed as “Things to Do and See in NSW”, so it depends where you look.

Historic places in Australia are rare and worth preserving. I don't believe that allowing a development on one of the most historic sites in Braidwood is the right way to go for the sake of future generations.

Forbes Gordon, Braidwood

A reader questions whether developing the Police Paddock "is the right way to go". Photo: file

A reader questions whether developing the Police Paddock "is the right way to go". Photo: file