June 2024 – Launceston Heritage


The demolition of the James Nelson Fabric Weavers Building in Mowbray, Launceston has elicited a lot of community concern for the loss of Tasmania’s Modernist heritage. A key place for information (and compelling visuals) is photographer, Thomas Ryan’s Tasmania’s Modernism Project: https://www.tryanphotos.com/tasmanian-modernism

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme, 2016, informs local Government assessment processes and with the James Nelson Building not listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register or the Launceston Local Provisions Schedule,

Launceston City Council, had no grounds to refuse the demolition.

Under the State Planning Scheme, Councils are able to re-establish heritage lists for their local government area (LGA), although there is no legislated requirement for them to do so. From the 1960s-1980s the National Trust developed the heritage lists that became the basis for the Tasmanian Heritage Register. The Trust plans to put its heritage lists online for LGAs without local heritage lists to ‘shine a light’ on important work yet to be done.


Launceston City Council is engaging with local property owners on its proposal to develop a series of local heritage precincts within what is one of Australia’s most liveable low-rise cities. The proposed heritage precincts will incorporate State and local heritage listed buildings, ‘contributing’ buildings, parks, streetscapes and vistas.

The heritage precincts will foster development with assessment for how new development contributes to the quality of the city. This will give adjacent property owners a voice and greater security when development applications come to the table. European research has shown that property values increase through the creation of such precincts. For
further information, please go to: Local Heritage Register – City of Launceston.

If you are able to assist the National Trust in its advocacy for Tasmania’s heritage, please contact us at admin@nationaltrusttas.org.au

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