Old cottage has new hope

July 4, 2021 BY

City of Greater Geelong councillor Peter Murrihy has presented a notice of motion during Tuesday's meeting. Photo: SUPPLIED

A CITY of Greater Geelong councillor has presented a notice of motion to relocate McAteer’s Bluestone Cottage as the battle to save the building ramps up.

However Major Roads Project Victoria maintains that the condition of the structure is an issue and the proposal to remove the cottage and repurpose its bluestone blocks in a nearby heritage project remains on track.

During the June 22 council meeting, Cr Murrihy recommended the city’s chief executive officer write to Major Roads Project Victoria to seek an alternative arrangement.

The notice of motion follows MRPV’s plans to improve the traffic flow along Barwon Heads Road by duplicating four kilometres of the road, removing a level crossing, and improving existing intersections while ultimately demolishing the cottage.

The recommendation calls for the bluestone cottage to be appropriately dismantled and stored to enable the restoration of the building for residential use.

On the notice of motion, Cr Murrihy said “it is understood MRPV takes possession of the property at the end of June 2021”.

With time running out Cr Murrihy said there was no viable option to retain the cottage at its current location on 375 Barwon Heads Road.

Since December 2020, the Marshall Bluestone Cottage Community Group has grown to more than 760 supporters rallying together to prevent the permanent destruction of the cottage, which dates back to 1866.

Cr Murrihy said “historically the place is an early example of a worker’s dwelling in Marshalltown and the application of bluestone on such a modest dwelling is of historical interest.

“MRPV program director Tim Price said MRPV was in “the final planning and development stages for the much-needed Barwon Heads Road Upgrade”.

“To allow the road to be widened and new lanes built, we will need to deconstruct and remove the bluestone cottage near the Marshalltown Road intersection,” Mr Price said.

“We want to ensure we recognise the heritage of the Marshall area as we deliver this important project, which is why we’ve developed a draft Heritage Interpretation Strategy, in consultation with City of Greater Geelong.

“This strategy includes a proposal for heritage interpretive works in nearby JF Field Park featuring repurposed bluestone blocks from the Cottage.

“We will continue to work closely with the community and Council and look forward to sharing our plans once the strategy is finalised.”

Previously Mr Price has said the cottage was not in a condition to be relocated in a manner that “maintains its integrity”.

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