Morpeth heritage listing battle continues

Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group committee members John I’anson, Jill Ward and Heather Berry. Picture: Simone De Peak.Maitland Council will meet with the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to clear up “misinformation” around the process to list significant parts of Morpeth on the State Heritage Register.

Councillors voted on Tuesday night to allow the meeting, whichwas requested by the OEH.

It followscouncil’s decision not to supportcommunity consultationon listing of theMorpeth Heritage Conservation area on the State Heritage Register.

In a letter to council, Katrina Stankowski from the OEH said information in media and social media reports was “troubling” as it contained misinformation about the process that could have affected some people’s perceptions.

“OEH would like to arrange this meeting at your earliest possible convenience before further misinformation is spread amongst the Maitland and Morpeth community,” Ms Stankowski stated in the letter.

Councillor Robert Aitchison said he gave “full marks” to the OEH for trying to clear the air around how the process would work.

“I’ve heard some dreadful stories,” he said. “I heard some people talking about how they had a two-year-old house and wondered how it’s going to fit in with a heritage listing. Well it’s not going to fit in with a heritage listing.

“But these are the mistruths that are going out there, and we need to get this sorted out.”

Simon Brooker from the Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group and Jan Davis from Maitland Greens bothspoke on Tuesday night and urged councillors to take part in the meeting with the OEH.

An OEH spokesperson saidthey were currently seeking to begin the consultation process of engaging with local council and other stakeholders about theproposed nomination.

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