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2 May 2011

The General Manager

Wollondilly Shire Council

PO Box 21

PICTON  NSW  2571

Dear Sir

Re: Improved protection for the heritage values of Menangle Village

As a heritage consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in the identification, assessment, management and interpretation of cultural landscapes and as the former consultant heritage advisor to Wollondilly Shire Council I am writing to express my concern at the potential threats posed by the ‘Planning Proposal submitted to the Joint Regional Planning Panel for Lands around Menangle Village’ to the heritage values of the village and to express my support for the following initiatives:

  1. An expanded Composite Heritage Curtilage or Landscape Curtilage that will protect the cultural landscape character of the historic village of Menangle, including important views and vistas to, from and within the village;
  1. Further investigation of those heritage items already listed within the village and its vicinity and those potential heritage items including a number of historic cottages in Station Street and Menangle Road which were erected in the early 20th century as part of the developments associated with the Camden Park Estate;
  1. Enhanced heritage planning controls over an extended curtilage for Menangle Village that should provide at least the same level of control as existed under Development Control Plan (DCP) 41 – Menangle Village;

Several colleagues and I are nearing completion of a Conservation Management Plan for the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI) which we are preparing for the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (formerly Industry and Investment NSW).  One of our recommendations arising from that study is likely to be that there should be appropriate statutory protection and improved interpretation for those items relating to the former Camden Park Estate that are now beyond the boundaries of EMAI, Belgenny Farm or Camden Park mansion and its curtilage.  This includes Menangle Village and listed and potential heritage items at Menangle, Cawdor, Mount Hunter and Camden.  These items include the former creameries (at Menangle and Mount Hunter and the site of the former creamery at Cawdor), the Rotolactor site at Menangle, the former Camden Park gate lodge on Remembrance Driveway and a former dairy in Camden.  Irrespective of their locations within current local government area boundaries, these sites deserve appropriate recognition as part of the total story of the agricultural development of the district.

I do hope that Council will take my comments into account at the Community Forum meeting to be held on 9 May 2011 in its consideration of measures to protect the very significant heritage values of Menangle Village.  I also urge Council to consider further measures to protect other sites within Wollondilly local government area associated with the former Camden Park Estate.

Yours faithfully

Chris Betteridge

Director

MUSEcape Pty Ltd

Heritage Consultants