Significant buildings key to Canberra’s rural past
The Riverview Group is helping to preserve Canberra’s rural history by enlisting the help of one of Canberra’s best heritage architects.
Sturt Cottage, the West Belconnen Farmhouse and its surrounding structures represent an important piece of Canberra’s history and could form part of the West Belconnen Development headed by the Riverview Group.
Eric Martin, Managing Director at Eric Martin and Associates and Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, says that preservation of heritage sites across the territory should be a priority for all Canberrans.
“It is wonderful that The Riverview Group has taken upon itself to identify heritage as one of its priorities, as it is an element of Canberra’s history that we should acknowledge and respect,” Mr Martin said.
“The Canberra region saw nearly 200 years of rural development before starting its life as an urban centre.
“100 years of urban development has followed, which has almost wiped out that first 200 years, leaving very few rural structures behind as they are consumed by urban sprawl.
“That’s why it’s important to respect rural life in the ACT and the tradition it was built upon.”
Eric Martin and Associates has completed a Conservation Management Plan for Belconnen Farm to ensure the historical elements throughout the site are preserved to the specifications of the Heritage Council.
Mr Martin said the Plan was designed to help balance and coordinate the goals of developers with the requirements and responsibilities outlined by the Heritage Council.
He said it would ensure The Riverview Group knew exactly what to do to meet Heritage requirements, while giving it the opportunity to work with the Council to mould any restriction that may need updating.
Mr Martin said the Plan also took sustainability into consideration.
“The Plan helps to identify ways the site can be used in the future, be it as accommodation, function or community facilities.
“We also look to ways the site can be improved by identifying possible solar power sites or opportunities for double glazing, where it isn’t intrusive.”