30, 2006, Braidwood and its setting were officially listed on the NSW
State Heritage Register. Planning Minister Frank Sartor made
the announcement in Ryrie Park. "Braidwood is a rare surviving
example of Georgian period town planning, dating from the 1830s,"
said Minister Sartor. "I am happy to list the town, which will
guarantee that its unique character is retained. We have struck a balanced
decision, to allow heritage to underpin the town's prosperity and to
help the region's strong economic growth and dynamic communities."
to everyone who worked so hard to make this important decision a reality.
situated half-way between Canberra and the NSW South Coast, was established
as a rural administration centre to service the large land grants taken
up in the 1820s and 1830s as the infant Colony grew and there was pressure
to find new grazing areas to provide food for the expanding population.
A portion of Braidwood Farm, an extensive property belonging to philanthropist
farmer Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson, was selected for the new town. A
simple Georgian street design was arranged around a large village square,
placed in front of a fine courthouse.
One of the most important features of Braidwood is the stunning and
sharp delineation between the built and rural environments. This is
a key element of the original Georgian-era plan, and it is uniquely
preserved in Braidwood.
The distinctive visible boundary between the town and rural land was
first identified as significant in heritage studies in the 1960s. Urban
sprawl has obliterated this feature from nearly every other 19th century
Australian town, leaving Braidwood the only place that one can see a
Georgian NSW village in its original rural setting.
The town was classified by the National Trust of Australia in 1976 as
a unique entity worth preserving – at a time when no State or
Federal legislation existed to protect built heritage assets.
In 2002 the NSW Heritage Office proposed classifying Braidwood and its
setting as an historic place on the State Heritage Register –
the first time that a NSW town would be listed this way. Similar classifications
have been made in the past two decades in most other States, but NSW
has few such sites which have survived intact. Haberfield in Sydney
has been classified as a heritage precinct under the same heritage legislation.
Registering Braidwood would allow the town and its surrounds to be protected
from inappropriate development by encouraging the Council and community
to access better planning, and to follow “best practice”
in designing new buildings in Braidwood.
State Heritage items are protected by law, enabling local planning rules
to be enforced, a far better protection for the community than the current
local Development Control Plan (DCP) and Local Environment Plan (LEP)
documents which are effectively just guidelines. Heritage listing would
not stop development but would encourage good and careful planning of
developments which are sympathetic to the sensitive existing heritage
landscape. Heritage listing would discourage large urban sprawls immediately
adjoining the village, which would remove the rural outlook from the
Palerang Council was formed in 2004 by the amalgamation of Tallaganda
Shire Council and Yarralumla Council. The Tallaganda Shire Council DCP
and LEP date from the early 1990s and are based on earlier plans from
the 1960s and 1970s. Tallaganda Council openly admitted that these plans
were hopelessly outdated and obsolete and Council has been reviewing
them for several years. Palerang Council was forced to adopt the existing
DCP and LEP for Braidwood but, admitting the deficiencies, has developed
a new draft DCP that addresses the significant oversights with regard
to local town planning. This document however has not been released
for public comment as yet, and in fact has been deliberately delayed.
Until the new draft DCP is placed on public display the Council must
adhere to the rules of the earlier document.
Braidwood’s location off the major Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne transport
route has meant that little development occurred in the past 150 years.
The town did not receive a rail link, and it is placed too far from
Sydney to have been attractive for weekend homes until recently. The
Southern Highlands towns of Berrima, Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong, Robertson,
Sutton Forest and Bundanoon all saw major developments from about 1975,
and in each case the previously intact villages have been swamped with
large urban developments, nearly always to their detriment.
In Braidwood, 20th century development has been restricted to organic
growth, mainly infilling vacant land within the village boundaries and
built to meet specific requirements like soldier resettlement. Most
of this type of development has occurred on the western side of the
town, where it is less visible from the approaches and main street.
There have been very few speculative housing developments involving
large scale subdivisions. The organic growth, wealth of fine 19th century
buildings, and rural setting have all contributed to make Braidwood
an iconic historic rural village for visitors and there is a strong
local economy based on tourism and history which supplements rural activities.
The town has also attracted a very large arts community which has grown
steadily since the 1950s and which includes painters, writers, photographers,
filmmakers, musicians, textile artists, cabinetmakers and craftspeople.
Braidwood has been the setting for some of Australia’s definitive
films including “Ned Kelly”, “The Year my Voice Broke”,
“On Our Selection”, "Forty Thousand Horsemen",
"Robbery Under Arms" and “Finding Joy”, and it’s
intact state give it an unsurpassed potential for future film making.
It hosts an impressive array of cultural festivals including “The
Airing of the Quilts”, Heritage celebrations, Music festivals,
Arts festivals and recently the “Two Fires” Festival celebrating
the arts and activism of poet and writer Judith Wright, a long-time
Einspruch: 0409 609 428
Antony Davies: 0438 126 987