Cessnock Council defers heritage listing process for Wollombi Public School site

HISTORIC: The former Wollombi Public School site.
HISTORIC: The former Wollombi Public School site.

Cessnock City Council has deferred making a decision on the process of nominating the former Wollombi Public School site for listing on the state heritage register.

Deputy mayor Allan Stapleford moved at Wednesday’s meeting that the decision be deferred to give the Wollombi School Community Education Trust (WSCET) the opportunity to negotiate for the land.

Cr Stapleford said the NSW Government has contacted WSCET about the sale of the land, and that council should step back during the negotiation process.

WSCET has managed the site since the school closed in December 2014 and has held more than 300 events there in the past two years.

The school site was slated for sale late last year, but in March WSCET secured an ongoing, short-time licence to manage the site.

Council resolved on December 14, 2016 to begin actions to have the historic site placed on the state and national heritage registers.

The council would need to engage an expert heritage consultant to prepare the nomination.

Heritage listing would not prevent the site from being sold.