Council will put on hold the consideration of a demolition order for the historic hotel in Yass’ main street after discussions at the latest council meeting.
Councillor David Needham was tentative to rule out demolition altogether as he said he was worried the building would continue to deteriorate.
“The longer we wait the worse it’s going to get,” Cr Needham said. “Something’s got to happen, we can’t go on like this year after year after year.”
A report brought to last Wednesday’s council meeting, at Cr Needham’s request, stated the building could only be demolished if it was unlawful or unsafe.
“In this instance, the building is definitely not unlawful and a number of assessments have been undertaken to ascertain its structural integrity,” the report says.
“Although the building is considered unsightly… there are no grounds for council to issue a demolition order to the building owner.”
Council has recently received a development application to change the use of part of the ground floor of the building.
The application proposes to establish professional offices in one section of the building. In addition to changing the use the applicant also wants to paint a section of the ground floor and remove some broken timber lattice on the Lead Street side of the verandah.
The report says council would achieve a much better outcome for the community if it supported the owners to redevelop the site.
As part of council’s recommendations the owners would be asked to supply information about what they plan to do with the building.
The group of local business people who own the former pub would also be asked to make a presentation to council.
Councillor Geoff Frost said at the meeting nothing would change unless there was cooperation with the owners.
“The way forward has got to be in working with the owners… It’s a positive sign that they want to put someone in there,” Cr Frost said.
Councillor Chris McKenzie-McHarg said he agreed supporting the owners was the best option but recorded a vote against the motion as he didn’t like the idea of demolition being considered at all.
He said the report that went to council showed they “didn’t have a leg to stand on” with regard to issuing an order. He said by putting the consideration of a demolition order on hold people would perceive there was still a chance it would be knocked down.
“Really the building’s in pretty good shape,” Cr McKenzie-McHarg said.
“We just want to see something there; we want to see it tidied up a bit with a bit of paint, and the façade and balcony fixed,” he said.
The Tribune contacted one of the owners and they declined to comment at this time.