The historic Station Master’s Cottage is to be moved from the RSL Club to the ‘old Cleveland Town’ precinct. Ratepayers will pay for relocating the cottage and re-establishing it with power, water and sewerage.
Although the vote for removal was in an open council meeting on July 27, the decision followed discussion of a confidential report behind closed doors. This discussion presumably dealt with financial details of the relocation project.
The old cottage is currently located at 204 Middle Street in Cleveland. It’s being moved to make way for expansion of Redland’s RSL’s hotel facilities in accordance with development application MCU013483.
It’s not known how much the ratepayers will be contributing to this move and how much the RSL will contribute, given that it will be saved from having to make an application for the demolition of the building as well as considerable demolition costs.
Heritage value of the Station Master’s Cottage
The cottage is not in its original position which means that it’s heritage value is greatly reduced. The building used to be in Shore Street close to the old train line.
Principles for managing heritage preservation in Australia are set out in the Burra Charter which says in Article 9:
The physical location of a place is part of its cultural significance. A building, work or other element of a place should remain in its historical location. Relocation is generally unacceptable unless this is the sole practical means of ensuring its survival.
The cottage’s new location will be next to two other twice relocated buildings, the Schoolmaster’s House and the railway siding building which now house the Old Schoolhouse Gallery.
It is regrettable that any building with heritage value has to be relocated and it’s hoped that after the Station Master’s Cottage there will be no need for any more additions to ‘old Cleveland Town’.
Redland City’s few remaining heritage buildings should remain in their place.
Changes to the Redlands Planning Scheme proposed by the previous (2012-2016) council in it’s Draft City Plan 2015 didn’t address the need for heritage protection of privately owned properties.
Councillors are currently reviewing changes to the planning scheme in a series of non-public workshops. Their priorities should include a proper heritage management strategy based on genuine community engagement – an important aspect of heritage management as noted by the State Government in it’s detailed Guidelines for: Carrying out a heritage survey:
Community engagement acknowledges the role of local people in determining heritage value and makes the survey more transparent and accountable. Dialogue with the community brings forward valuable local knowledge and diverse community views. It is an opportunity to discuss the region’s important historical themes, review and revise the long list, and discuss potential issues, risks and opportunities for heritage conservation. (page 6)