Big is not necessarily beautiful
Greytown Main Street streetscape is set up with heritage principles and there are community organisations that feel strongly about it. Street lights in Greytown were changed to a heritage style coloured dark green to fit with the ambiance of the town. There is a restricted colour palette for buildings in the main street to fit in with the general preferred heritage style and there are guidelines for signage for businesses. Building heights are restricted to fit with the height of the heritage buildings.
In August a plan was put forward by a developer which included a 4-storey apartment block to replace existing buildings which include the Greytown Little Theatre. A petition was circulated asking “Is this what we want for our beautiful heritage town?” which questioned features of the proposed building which do not seem to match heritage principles.
The Greytown Heritage Trust (http://www.greytownheritagetrust.co.nz/) reported that the resource consent application for the development proposed for 68 Main Street, Greytown had not been accepted as being complete by South Wairarapa District Council. The developer Mr Pilbrow has been asked to provide more detailed plans, along with further heritage assessment and information on compliance with the District Plan. Council awaited a resubmitted resource consent application for the site. The Trust has been inundated with calls from members of the community asking what they can do to limit the scale of the 4 level development on the site of the former Greytown Little Theatre in Main Street.
Impetus for Change
Alisoun Werry recalls that it was the threatened demolition of the historic Kouka Cottage on Main St (formerly known as Cabbage Tree Cottage) that provided the impetus for the organisation. The Trust then set its sights on improving the aesthetics of the town hall after its 1970s makeover and called a public meeting to encourage community engagement. In 2011 the town hall was fully restored. The trust began working with SWDC to create an historic precinct in Greytown, running from the Kuratawhiti/Jellicoe Streets intersection in the north to Wood Street further south. Alisoun says this was an important step in establishing a pattern of consultation between the council and the trust.
The trust receives regular notifications from the council about proposals affecting Greytown’s historic Main Street, ranging from alterations to existing houses and commercial buildings to new dwellings and signage. The trust consults with its own advisors and reports back to council.
Alisoun Werry and Carmel Ferguson are active Greytown advocates for the work of the Hertitage Trust.
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