The Association welcomes Council’s decision to nominate Berrima on the State’s Heritage Register because this initiative:
- reinforces Berrima’s national importance as the only remaining intact colonial settlement from the Georgian period on the mainland of Australia
- makes Berrima more attractive as a tourist destination, which is good for local businesses and jobs
- raises Berrima’s status as an important place needing protection from the threat of Hume Coal proposed export coal mine located just 4km from the village
At its meeting on 8 June, Wingecarribee Shire Council accepted a recommendation from its Heritage Committee to nominate Berrima as a item on the State Heritage Register.
Council’s Heritage Land-use Planner, Sarah Farnese, wrote to the Association in October 2015 raising the prospect of a nomination.
To further understand the idea, Sarah was invited to speak to members at our 6 April 2016 general meeting about a proposed listing, the pros and cons and how it might work in practice. Sarah also pointed out that Berrima would be only the second town, after Braidwood, to be listed on the State register.
At the meeting members voted to support a nomination if Council were to proceed with this initiative, which underscores the importance of Berrima as the last remaining intact colonial Georgian village on the mainland.
Members agreed that a listing would be very positive for local businesses. Berrima now welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and a listing can be expected to boost Berrima reputation as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the tourism industry in the Highlands.
A State listing, of itself, does not change the existing planning rules set out in the WLEP(2010) and the DCPs applying to Berrima. As Berrima and its surrounds are already defined by the Berrima Heritage Conservation Area and the Berrima Landscape Conservation Area, development applications for properties in these areas are already subject to heritage controls. However, In regard to the way in which development applications are processed, we anticipate that only in a small number of cases, would owners notice any change in practice. In the vast majority of cases Council would process DAs as they do now.