Excavation must stop pending an archaeological assessment

Letter to the editor

The Constable’s house and garden site (lot C in 1839 Town Plan) is currently being excavated by a Central Coast Council digging machine as part of former Baker Street South Rd, without consideration of evidence of high archaeological significance.

Excavation must stop pending an archaeological assessment. It is Crown Land including a previously reclaimed road. The Joint Regional Planning Panel, on the advice of the council (councillors are trustees of the park), has approved a DA which proposes to allow the tax offi ce to build required parking on crown land as part of this proposed-to-be reopened paper road. The road was closed at the request of the Education Department and incorporated as Crown Land into Leagues Club Park, according to the council’s own records and according to Crown Land office mapping.

The trustees (now the Administrator) have not properly considered this decision according to their responsibility as trustees, and the site is being treated as though it is council land. The Constable’s residence and garden site was identified in the settlement period before Gosford was established as a town and the area was governed as Brisbane Water Police District. Council is currently using heavy equipment to excavate what is a potentially very signifi cant archaeological site, as I have previously advised Gosford Council’s now disbanded Heritage Advisory Committee. Please help by urgently alerting the Administrator, CEO and appropriate Central Coast Council officers to ensure proper archaeological assessments are made before any further disturbance of the site, preferably by archaeologist, Ian Higginbotham, who has already been employed by Gosford Council to assess part of the Gosford Public School site and is familiar with the area’s history.

Email, Aug 19, 2016 Kay Williams, Pearl Beach

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