Seymour couple can't understand why their property is part of an overlay.By Chalpat Sonti
Pam and Ron Howard can’t quite work this one out.
They bought their Tristan St, Seymour property with a view to knocking down the house and building something for their retirement.
‘‘When we bought it we went to the council and asked if we could do that and they said yes,’’ Mrs Howard said.
‘‘Now this has come in since.’’
The ‘‘this’’ she is referring to is the heritage overlay for Seymour, to which the Howards’ property would be added. That would likely be the end of their plans, they believe.
The couple made a submission to Mitchell Shire Council seeking their house be removed from the overlay, pointing out their home had been extensively modified inside and out and two builders had confirmed the house was too unstable for modification with the walls moving away from the floor and the bearers on top of the floor joists with the long side on the stumps.
But the council report said the home was a ‘‘relatively rare’’ type of early cottage in Seymour and ‘‘appears to date from (around) 1890’’.
‘‘The alterations to the interior are not relevant,’’ it said.
‘‘Despite the alterations, this cottage retains its distinctive early gabled form and symmetrical facade.’’
All of which has left the Howards confused.
Mr Howard said it was believed the house might have been moved to Tristan St from Emily St after floods.
The land title dates back to 1900, though it is difficult to make out if there was a house on the site at the time.
Mrs Howard said: ‘‘It’s an old cottage and we never would have bought something we couldn’t do anything with.’’
An independent planning panel appointed by the Victorian Government will now consider what areas in Mitchell Shire should be added to the heritage overlay.
The council voted last week to refer most of the 58 submissions it received to the panel to make a final decision. There were some changes to the council’s report, involving areas in Kilmore and Broadford.
Fourteen of the submitters, including the Howards, were from Seymour and two from Tallarook or Trawool. Areas proposed to be added included Mob Siding, Light Horse Memorial Park, churches, Tallarook town precinct and the old Trawool school.
Cr Bill Chisholm said the council was working with the developer of vacant land at Mob Siding about a resolution there.
‘‘As a council we’ve got to reflect more than just heritage values,’’ he told the council meeting.
‘‘We’ve got to reflect persons’ concerns regarding the growth of business and interests in these towns.’’
Submitters, including the Howards, will be invited to put their case to the panel, probably at the council offices.
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