Statement on Dickson Lyneham Flats

The National Trust ACT continues to argue for due process to ensure heritage values are fully identified and considered

Statement on Dickson Lyneham Flats

The National Trust continues to argue for due process to ensure that the heritage values are fully identified and considered in any development for the site. A few key points are made below:

1. Several Heritage Assessments by experienced and well qualified Conservation Architects have identified and reinforced its significance from 1999.

2. The nomination of the Precinct to the ACT Heritage Register was made by the Australian Institute of Architects in 1999.

3. The Precinct was placed on the Register of National Estate in 2002.

4. 18 March 2014 the National Trust classified the Precinct for its heritage values.

5. 2008-2011 the place was on the National Trust Heritage at Risk due to concerns that the place was not being maintained which is an essential part of conservation.

6. The ACT Heritage Council provisional listing included the whole precinct. The National Trust supported the listing and responded within the time indicated in a letter to the National Trust and as advertised in the Canberra Times.

7. The ACT Heritage Council final decision to only finally list part of the site was made without public notification/reason or justification.

The National Trust appealed the listing of a reduced area but was not permitted to proceed as standing was refused due to the fact that the National Trust submission was legally two days late due to an error by ACT Heritage in the date submissions were due.

The National Trust is pursuing this issue with the ACT Supreme Court.

Demolition Proposals
There have been 3 Development Applications for demolition:

i. Demolition of all at one tower on part of the Dickson site.

This was not supported by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna as regulated trees were to be removed.

The National Trust also appealed this. The DA was withdrawn.

ii. Revised demolition of all but one tower on part of the Dickson site.

This was consistent with the revised ACT Heritage Council listing.

The National Trust appealed this as the DA involves demolition of a heritage site with no proposed replacement. This appeal is yet to be heard.

iii. New development application for demolition of most of the precinct including parts of the ACT Heritage Council listed area/buildings with no proposed replacement.

This is out for public comment. Once again the proposal to demolish a heritage site without details of any proposed new development is not supported by the National Trust.

The concerns of the National Trust are:
• Lack of public information why the interim listing was modified and debate on any reasons.

• Demolition proposals of a heritage site without any proposed development.

• The poor record of maintenance over an extended period resulting in poor condition and perception that they do not look the best.

• Lack of due process in identifying heritage values before considering development.

Heritage listing is about identifying heritage values to a set of criteria and should be independent of future potential development.

Development can occur provided heritage values are recognised and impact on them is minimized.

Eric Martin, AM