Many people do not know that the old part of Mullumbimby township west of the railway line was declared a Heritage Conservation Area in July 2014 under the new the DCP and LEP. This is the area where the 10 double-storey units are proposed to be built at 116 Stuart St.
The process to declare this area a Heritage Conservation Area began in 2004. It took 10 years to achieve this with lots of community consultation, many community meetings, a community based heritage study, a heritage steering committee, 12 months’ research and advice by a heritage advisor from Sydney and much council input.
The aim and objective of the heritage legislation is to preserve the rural old-world character of Mullumbimby and to stop development that distracts from the town’s character and ambience. That means it is not just the front streetscapes that are to be preserved but the whole town area including the back lanes and the main street.
The development of 10 units at 116 Stuart St does not conform to the heritage legislation requirements set out in the LEP and DCP which are intended to protect the character and feeling of the town. If the house, as a last resort, cannot be renovated and needs to be demolished then the new house needs to be built in the single storey character style of the town and if a secondary dwelling is built at the rear it also needs to be built in that character.
If the these units go ahead it will be the beginning of the end of preserving the town’s heritage character because it will set a precedent and the next house can be demolished and units built under the guise of affordable housing – and there goes all that 10 years of work by the community and there goes the town feeling that we all love and why we are here
Len Bates, Mullumbimby