Rappoport Heritage Consultants is actively involved in advising prospective purchasers of Millers Point heritage houses in approaches and methodologies to be applied for the conservation of these unique homes. By way or recent history, the Millers Point terraces in Lower Fort Street, Argyle Place, Windmill Street, Kent Street and High Street have been in the care of Housing NSW, which towards the end of 2011 reached a decision that the upkeep and maintenance of the exclusive properties could no longer be sustained on peppercorn rents and would have to be put into private ownership if they are to survive.
Many properties had become so run down due to successive years of nil maintenance that a number of them had become uninhabitable i.e. dangerous to live there.
Initially, the properties were put up for 99-year leasehold but more recently, they are being sold under Torrens title. At the stage when consideration was being given to the selling of the properties under 99-year leasehold,conservation management plans – CMPs were written by heritage architects detailing precisely how the properties should be cared for, imposing limitations on change and usage and certain obligations incumbent upon lease holders in terms of ongoing monitoring and auditing.
While many of the conservation policies contained in the CMPs appear onerous, Rappoport is assisting incoming purchasers to navigate their way through the approval process in order to achieve outcomes that are practical and still protect the heritage significance of the buildings. One of the challenges in interpreting the obligations contained in the CMPs is to come to terms with the fact that in the recent batch of sales, leasehold has given way to freehold.
The challenge is in finding a balance between protecting the heritage integrity and what is reasonable to do so. Unfortunately, it is not possible, for example, to remove a concrete slab from the original sandstone flagstones without causing substantial damage.
Rappoport Heritage Consultants offers prospective purchasers information and advice on how best to conserve these unique homes and has come up with a suite of appropriate and affordable solutions to making internal changes where appropriate.
We can meet prospective purchasers at the on site and provide on the spot advice as to what changes can be made on a room-by-room basis. The advice provided will balance out the restrictive limitations contained in the CMPs with practical and affordable solutions. Rappoport can also produce all the required heritage documentation including drawings, reports and liaison directly with pertinent authorities having jurisdiction over the works. So if you are thinking of buying a piece of Sydney’s original history, why not get the right advice from the professionals.
Contact Rappoport Heritage Consultants and talk to one of our heritage architects about the changes you want to make at Millers Point – Tel: 9519 2521.
Paul Rappoport – Heritage 21 – 1 December 2014
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