His­toric Alexan­dra cot­tage gets board sup­port

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES - By JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Plans for a Con­ser­va­tion Plan are a step closer for a his­toric Alexan­dra cot­tage.

At its last meet­ing the Vin­cent Com­mu­nity Board ap­proved a fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion to the New Zealand Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion for a Con­ser­va­tion Plan to pro­vide ex­pert ad­vice on the her­itage sig­nif­i­cance, main­te­nance re­quire­ments, and po­ten­tial fu­ture use of Val­lance Cot­tage.

Board chair Clair Hig­gin­son said the Con­ser­va­tion Plan would pro­vide a ‘‘road map’’ for set­ting pri­or­i­ties for any fu­ture restora­tion and use of the his­tor­i­cal cot­tage.

‘‘With­out that you just go by the seat of your pants.

‘‘The [Val­lance] fam­ily mem­bers are de­lighted the next step is go­ing ahead.’’

Val­lance Cot­tage, in Sam­son Street, was built around 1896. The cot­tage was gifted to the com­mu­nity by the Val­lance fam­ily

The his­toric 1896 Val­lance Cot­tage in Alexan­dra. in the mid-1990s.

It sits on Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil re­serve and is listed in the Dis­trict Plan as a her­itage build­ing.

The cot­tage was saved from de­mo­li­tion in 1996 by a Com­mu­nity Restora­tion Group which raised funds for its restora­tion.

The cot­tage was fit­ted out with pe­riod fur­ni­ture by a his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety and was open to the public dur­ing the sum­mer to show what life was like in the early 19th cen­tury. The cot­tage was closed to the public in 2009 be­cause the kitchen floor was rot­ten and was un­safe. Funds were raised to re­place the rot­ten tim­ber floor in the kitchen and re­pair and paint other rot­ten tim­ber on the build­ing’s ex­te­rior and this work has now been com­pleted.

De­scen­dants of the Val­lance fam­ily have ex­pressed sup­port for safe­guard­ing the fu­ture of the cot­tage and in or­der to en­cour­age com­mu­nity sup­port a pic­nic was held at the cot­tage in Jan­uary.

There is cur­rently no coun­cil bud­get avail­able for the cot­tage and the vol­un­teers are look­ing at ways to utilise the cot­tage in the fu­ture to make it more sus­tain­able, a re­port to the board says.

A Con­ser­va­tion Plan is es­ti­mated to cost $6254 plus GST and the plan would cover: In­tro­duc­tion of own­er­ship; her­itage sta­tus; iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of site/build­ing; history of the build­ing and timeline; her­itage in­ven­tory of ma­te­ri­als, el­e­ments and fix­tures and fit­tings; build­ing con­di­tion as­sess­ment and rec­om­men­da­tions for re­pair and fu­ture main­te­nance; state­ment of sig­nif­i­cance; in­flu­ences on fu­ture de­vel­op­ment; poli­cies and lim­i­ta­tions to change, in­clud­ing any rec­om­mended re­me­dial work; any other rec­om­men­da­tions/in­for­ma­tion that the com­pany con­sid­ers ap­pro­pri­ate, the re­port says.

Dis­cus­sions with the New Zealand Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion had in­di­cated it would sup­port a coun­cil fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion for the full cost of the pro­posed Con­ser­va­tion Plan.

Wil­liam and Jean Val­lance.

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