Heritage register hearing next week

Owners of commercial buildings opposed to the Gore District Council's plan to include their properties on the heritage register will put their case before a hearing next week.

The council proposes to add 12 buildings to the ''scheduled heritage structures'' list, as part of a group of changes to the Gore district plan.

The hearing, to be held next Tuesday, is the third relating to the proposed plan changes and will deal with the heritage register and creation of a townscape zone.

Council consultant planner Keith Hovell said the owners of four buildings - the ASB Building, Buckleys-McCutcheon Building, Gore Club Inc and LaHood's building - opposed their inclusion on the register. Their main concern was the impact it would have if their buildings, or parts of them were deemed an earthquake risk and required work.

While Mr Hovell accepted this was a valid point, he said it would be more appropriate for it to be considered when seeking consents to undertake work rather than exclude the building from the register.

A report on the proposed district plan changes said that in 2009, a ''substantial'' building at the southern end of the Gore commercial area was demolished. In response to public comments about that demolition, the council requested staff to prepare a report listing any buildings they consider should be added to the register of existing significant buildings in the district.

Initially, buildings within the Gore central area have been assessed.

The hearing will be held in the council's chambers, starting at 9am, before councillors Bret Highsted, Cliff Bolger, Nicky Davis and Marty Redhead and is open to the public.

The council is proposing 14 changes to the district plan, the majority in response to issues and situations raised by the public. A fourth and final hearing will be held next month.

Buildings to be added to the register. -Whittingham buildings (24-30 Main St), ASB (10-12 Main St), Buckleys-McCutcheon (61-63 Main St), The Capri (71-73 Main St), The Ensign (47 Mersey St), Gore Club Inc (14 Mersey St), Investment House (47-53 Mersey St), LaHood's (43-45 Main St), former National Bank building (15 Mersey St), original Gore post office (101-103 Main St), Peterson's (21 Main St), Shoe Biz (29-31 Main St).

- helena.dereus@odt.co.nz