Ryde Civic Centre saved by Interim Heritage Protection Order

Urban Taskforce welcomes the decision of the Chair of the NSW Heritage Council, late on Friday, to issue an interim Heritage Order to prevent Council from demolishing the mid-20th Century icon of post wat modernism, the Ryde Civic Centre.

The Interim Heritage Protection Order will mean that the building will be assessed by heritage experts for both local and State Heritage significance.  No demolition works will take place for 40 days.

If a permanent order is made to protect this important icon of government administration for the City of Ryde, it will be protected and preserved.  There will be no apartments on the site.

This is a Council owned site.  This is a Council owned building.  Previous proposals for development were those of Council.  Urban Taskforce has no interest in this site.

What is important is everyone plays by the same rules.

Council has, for reasons known only to them, not proposed this building for heritage protection.  While the Heritage register is full of buildings, fountains, and power sub stations in the city of Ryde, of far lesser cultural and architectural heritage significance, somehow Ryde Council has let this building slip through.

A full and proper assessment will now be undertaken.  That is appropriate and it is welcome.

Ryde Council has run this building into the ground through chronic under investment in maintenance – then claimed it is too expensive to save.  If a private developer behaved this way with a building of such significance – they would be held to public account.  The mayor of Ryde Council should not be rewarded for besmirching this icon of Ryde’s heritage.

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