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A hearing panel appointed by Hamilton City Council to assess proposed changes to heritage protections in Hamilton has released its first decision today (6 December).

The decision removes 33 built heritage items from Hamilton’s District Plan, based on recommendations from heritage specialists and following a public submission period on Plan Change 9.

The 33 buildings have either been legally removed or demolished, modified and no longer have the heritage qualities they were scheduled for, or their heritage qualities are not enough to meet the criteria for protection.

Urban and Spatial Planning Manager Mark Davey said he was pleased the panel could give some early certainty to those property owners while some of the more technical aspects of the plan change were being worked through. Further decisions relating to archaeological sites, significant natural areas (SNA) and notable trees are expected to be released by the Panel in early-2024.

“Through this process we really wanted to make sure that the buildings being protected in Hamilton were worthy of it. Our heritage specialist identified these ones did not meet the criteria and no longer warranted the same protections as some of the other buildings in our city.”

Built heritage refers to individual or groups of buildings, monuments or structures that have a connection to our history. Through Plan Change 9 an assessment of more than 560 built heritage structures was completed and an additional 400 structures were proposed to be added to the District Plan by Council and submitters.

“This work started more than four years ago to have a thorough look at significant buildings in our city, the first time a review of this nature has been done since the 1990s and the first time it has been undertaken at this scale.

“The hearing panel are working through the huge amount of evidence provided by experts and submitters to make the right decisions to protect our built heritage, as well as other heritage and natural environment elements. The decisions will have a long-lasting positive impact for Hamiltonians for generations to come.”

Plan Change 9 was publicly notified in July 2022 and in addition to built heritage, proposed extra protection for archaeological sites, historic heritage areas (HHA), notable trees and SNA in Hamilton.

Hearings for Plan Change 9 began in May 2023 and continued in November. The hearing panel have provided interim guidance on a consistent method to apply to proposed built heritage structures and hearings related to specific built heritage items will continue in mid-2024.

Read the decision here


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