Pittwater Council at it’s meeting on Monday 21st July2014  voted to place on exhibition the Pittwater Community Based Heritage Study Review. The report maybe accessed by clicking on the following link (Access Link).

A list of the potential items for listing at Newport are as follows;

Private Residences

Fink House, 153 Queens Parade, Newport (this house is owned by one of our members and its listing is strongly questioned and objected to. Please refer below and have your say).

Currie House, 3 The Avenue, Newport

Newport Arms Hotel, 1 Kalinya Street, Newport

St Michaels Anglican Church, Foamcrest Avenue, Newport

Public Owner

Stone Wall Bungan Head Road (adjacent to Betty Morrison Reserve) Newport

Trafalgar Park and War Memoria,l 16 Queens Parade, Newport

Newport Public School – School Bell & Flag, 25 Queens Parade, Newport

Newport Wharf, 1A Queens Parade, Newport

Newport Bowling Club, Palm Road, Newport


Objection re Listing of Fink House

Dear Gavin,

You asked if I would be willing to discuss the heritage listing issue with NRA. I think I’d  like to do so, not just because of my own situation, where despite my objections I think they have probably made up their minds to heritage  list mine. But for anyone else in Newport affected.

I think there are questions to be raised about heritage listing , especially about the need for  Pittwater  Council funding to assist those maintaining a heritage place, which can become very expensive with an older house.   It’s all very well for Council to decide which places to list, but what further responsibilities do they have for maintaining them  and helping people who  try to keep the old places habitable, and then have to  cope financially with the  rising  expenses  as they age . Electrical wiring has to be replaced, timber posts rot, walls and ceilings suffer damp, doors split,  foundations get lateral or  rising damp, termites infest and a host of other problems affect them.

The young heritage consultants don’t seem  worried about all that, they just think the place is iconic because someone famous designed it, or, someone who later became very famous, but had just begun their career and had a lot to learn from designing their first   houses.

Some Newport houses were   built shortly  after the war ended  ( between 1946 to 1950, ) when there were shortages of  materials and architects had very  little choice of   builders’ materials, roofing contractors or experienced  builders, so what they designed often  had to compromise not from choice, but because there were no alternatives.

If Council wants to keep old houses preserved for posterity in heritage, they need to accept upgrading them with  modern materials now available. If for instance a house was largely made from Asbestos sheets would they want that perpetuated? Surely they would remove them and replace with something less harmful, modern  and more effective.

Then there is the value of the block of land on which a house was built.  It was probably  fairly cheap  in 1947 , but now  the rates assess its  value around a $million for a  starter.  The value of an old house on that  land has not  risen like the land, so people  prefer buying  non- heritage houses, because they can demolish them easily. With the   heritage house  they face restrictions from Council, ”State Listing normally prevents demolition” (Heritage listing  p 8) and theirs value is diminished.  I have seen   houses near  mine,  sold and quickly  demolished when they were   still in very  good  condition, because someone wanted to build a ‘Mc Mansion’ on the land.

But that would not be permitted if   it was  an old heritage house   on the block. How can Council compensate people for the diminished value of their  land after heritage listing? They claim that it does not affect property values  and that it’s a myth  but they are more cautious in their wording  ‘listing has no effect on property value in most cases and sometimes improves resale value” (op.cit.p 7.) Can one really believe this? Is it true in Pittwater? I hope there will be some discussion of these issues!, if you want  to use  this on the NRA website to start some discussion, I give you permission to do so.

Best wishes,


Dr Ruth Fink Latukefu