Wingecarribee Heritage Study – Independent Peer Review Commences  

31 January, 2024Posted in: Community

Responding to a December 2023 Council decision to remove Council Heritage staff and to provide an added level of rigour to the community-based Heritage Study, Council’s General Manager, Lisa Miscamble has announced the engagement of Mr Robert Staas – a qualified Heritage Consultant who is also a Shire local.

Ms Miscamble confirmed that the Heritage Peer Review will look at all material in the original community-based work and responses from residents and their consultants as a result of the initial consultations. Ms Miscamble stated the timeline fixed by Council was ambitious having regard to the complexity of heritage matters and she would be submitting a further report to Council in February to address the matter.

Council’s Administrator Viv May applauded the appointment of Mr Staas who he said was well known professionally to him and had worked with numerous Councils in the development of Heritage Studies, Plans and in the Land and Environment Court on heritage-based matters for both Councils and applicants for many years.

“I can’t think of a better person to undertake this complex and emotive task and I look forward to seeing the General Manager’s report at the February meeting,” Mr May said.

As part of his engagement, Mr Staas has given undertakings that he took no part in the original community heritage study and to ensure probity, is required to report any contact made by residents in relation to his peer review directly to the General Manager.

Mr Staas was appointed in 2021 as a member of the Council’s Independent Planning Panel and has resigned that position in view of his new role.

Following the February Council meeting, further information will be provided in the e-news and the General Manager has indicated that the owners of all affected properties will be advised of the appointment as the communication strategy to be put in place to ensure the maintenance of community confidence.