The iconic and historic Brunswick Housie Shed is currently being ‘modified’ according to a letter sent yesterday to Brunswick Heads Progress Association by Steve Edmonds, CEO of Reflections Holiday parks who manage the area.
However, the lack of community consultation over work on this heritage Brunswick building has left some people in the community concerned.
‘That is an absolutely classic building that is used by thousands of people for many different things,’ said local Dennis Stevenson who also runs the annual Spirit of Christmas free shop each year.
The Housie Shed, that has been in the park for well over 50 years, is used by a wide range of the community throughout the year including disability groups, for picnics and birthday parties and in general by locals and tourists.
‘Where is the public consultation?’ asks Mr Stevenson.
Cladding being removed
Reflections Holiday Parks operations manager, Jennifer Scott, clarified with The Echo that the Housie Shed is not being demolished.
‘What we are doing is removing the cladding to turn it into a shelter rather than a shed – removing it to make it more light and airy,’ said Ms Scott.
When asked about community consultation due to the fact the removal of the cladding takes away the classic heritage feel of the building she said, ‘I don’t believe we do have to consult – we are not removing the shelter, it is still intact – the shelter is still there.’
Ms Scott said that they had had an engineer there this morning to ensure that the structure was sound with the cladding removed.
Asked if they would be storing the cladding in case they were to replace some walls at a future point in a heritage style Ms Scott confirmed that they would not be.
‘Having it as a shelter rather than a shed will be more inviting for people to want to sit in it particularly with the new playground being installed next year,’ said Ms Scott.
Ms Scott also clarified that Reflections is seeking to engage with ‘stakeholders’ in the future to discuss what will happen at the site. This might be BBQ shelters and other facilities that are needed.
Used by homeless
While there have been a range of issues around the use of the Housie Shed by the homeless Ms Scott said that this was not the motivating factor behind removing all the walls.