THE Shepherds Hill cottage, one of Newcastle’s most scenic but run-down buildings, will be restored to its original condition while the state government considers the future of the entire heritage-listed military site.
Newcastle council will begin renovations today on the late-19 century King Edward Park cottage, which was badly damaged in the storm of April 2015.
It will be given a new roof, plumbing, cladding, posts and beams, and its wooden windows will be repaired.
The overhaul will also, the council said, include demolition of “unathorised extensions made by various tenants”.
The council gained approval for the restoration when it lodged a conservation management plan, together with a separate heritage application, for the Shepherds Hill site with the state government last December.
“The restoration of Shepherds Hill Cottage is another exciting project at an exciting time in Newcastle’s history," Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“All works to be undertaken to restore the building will be overseen by a heritage architect. The future use of the cottage is yet to be determined but, whatever it is, it will become a community asset and focal point courtesy of its location at the top of King Edward Park on the Bathers Way.”
Work vehicles will be confined to the site during the restoration, the council said.
Shepherds Hill Defence Group, as the cottage, battery observation post and gun placement are collectively known, sits on Crown Land for which Newcastle City Council is the trust manager.
The military installment was designed to defend Newcastle’s burgeoning coal port after the 1878 Royal Commission into Colonial Defences. It served as an integral command position until the end of World War Two.
The observation post is one of the only coastal defence sites in Australia manned simultaneously during the war by the Royal Australian Navy, Army and Royal Australia Air Force.
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