Historic Alexandra cottage gets board support
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.