Sue Eggins, President of the Kiama & District Historical Society, feels like she and a small team of other concerned residents are fighting a lot of spot fires as development continues to threaten the history of the area.
“We are still looking at getting properties identified in a heritage study in 2000 recognised in the Local Environment Plan (LEP) and afforded protection,” she says.
Just one of the houses she is concerned about (above), on the corner of Shoalhaven and Barney Streets, has been sold by long term owners to a party which has also bought the block neighbouring block on Barney Street.
“This house was built in the 1880s by the town’s undertaking family, the Walkers, and is in original condition,” says Sue.
“It was given a ranking of 2 [out of 5] in the 2000 Study, but for some reason only some of the houses with the top ranking got listed in the LEP.
“We are hoping that Council will be able to help us find ways to protect the heritage of our town before it is too late.”
She cites the example of 47 Thomson St as the type of place that is under threat, with a DA lodged for 12 units. It was built in 1900 for the manager of Bombo Quarry. In 1919 it was sold to members of Mayor Mark Honey’s family.
Sue also holds concerns for the old RMB Lawyers house in Collins St, which has been sold to developer Nick Daoud.
She hopes the heritage precinct around the Harbour end of Manning St will be officially recognised soon.
The recent Town Centre Study found strong support for protecting heritage as a way of retaining identity.