Fate of railway cottage to be decided

Fate of railway cottage to be decided in May following a huge community outcry.However, the stay of execution has been short-lived and a report to Tuesdays meeting recommends that development consent be issued for demolition. Archival recording of the building and its immediate environs is a requirement of consent. Remediation work to counteract soil contamination will also be required.The Eltham community has stated in its submission to Council that the demolition of the cottage would be a loss to the village and have a negative social impact on the community.The Council report notes that the applicant Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) was asked to comment on the Heritage significance of Eltham railway cottage.The response was that the cottage was of relatively low significance.In addition ARTC states that if the local community wants the cottage retained it should clearly indicate how to fund restoration work and future maintenance as well as show how any future use will be economically viable and self-sustaining.See next weeks Echo for more.Rehab unit negotiations continueIt appears there is still hope for St Vincents Hospitals rehabilitation unit.Hospital board chairman Frank Hannigan said the outcome of talks on Tuesday with the North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) appeared to be positive.Mr Hannigan said yesterday that further talks with the NCAHS to sort out the issue would be held in the next week.The talks follow a public outcry over the loss of the St Vincents Hospital 33-bed rehabilitation unit, which management announced it would close on December 15.As a result, the NCAHS has begun implementing a contingency plan to offset the closure of the unit, which is due to come into place by January 18.Under the plan, rehabilitation services in Lismore would be maintained with 12 rehabilitation beds at Lismore Base Hospital and another 18 beds at Ballina District Hospital, with the beds to remain in place until a new Ballina facility opens in February 2008.Stay tuned for more developments.


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