Santa’s entry protected

A Seymour resident has been denied a planning permit application to remove two chimneys from a house in Progress Street.

All but two Mitchell Shire councillors voted in favour of the officer recommendation to refuse the planning permit on the grounds that it could be a slippery slope to losing heritage features of houses across the shire.

North ward councillor Rhonda Sanderson said the decision was also about rectifying council’s track record with protecting the shire’s heritage.

“This would be chipping away at the precinct’s heritage. If we ignore officers and our heritage study, it could create a precedent,” she said.

North ward councillor Fiona Stevens disagreed, saying she was supportive and respectful of looking after the heritage of the community, but wasn’t sure denying the permit would be detrimental to the community.

“There were no objections to this permit application. I don’t believe there would be a major detriment to demolish these chimneys as they appear to be constructed after the house was built,” she said.

South ward councillor David Lowe said he struggled to see the value of the chimneys.

“I would prefer to see the building maintained in the future. I’m struggling to see the heritage value of these chimneys. A notice of refusal is too harsh and an overreaction,” he said.