Tait Duke Cottage when it was in the main street of Tewantin.
Tait Duke Cottage when it was in the main street of Tewantin. Geoff Potter

Cottage to shift again to be more in tune with history?

AN IMPORTANT piece of Noosa heritage will be looking for a new place to put down cultural roots if the new Noosa Council accepts a review recommendation to shift it from Wallace Park.

Sunshine Coast councillors in Tewantin next Thursday will consider the Place Design Group finding that the Tait Duke Cottage, which for decades was a Tewantin heritage landmark, "is intrusive to the cultural heritage values of Wallace Park and should be relocated to an alternative site".

The recommendation to council is an updated Wallace Park draft master plan be publicly exhibited for community feedback and material delivered to the de-amalgamation transfer manager Peter Franks for the consideration of the new Noosa Council.

A report to council said the cottage was gifted to council by Esme Tait in June 2004 with the deed of agreement being signed in June 2009 on the grounds that it be used for the long-term benefit of the Tewantin community.

Council relocated the cottage to Wallace Park in 2009, temporarily.

Four community groups have expressed interest in using the cottage but none owned land to site the building. In 2011, council ordered a review of the 1989 Master Plan of the Wallace Estate "with a view to having the cottage permanently located on the Wallace estate".

However the review found that: "The placement of the cottage on the village green and the clear view from Eumundi Rd has led to the Tait Duke Cottage being mis-identified as the Wallace House. The house has no heritage significance to the Wallace Park, (Wallace) family or the Noosaville area.

"Wallace Park is associated with the settlement and early development of Noosa. The land and its past owners have been documented as being of significant local and state importance.

"The current use of the park is a modern and relatively unique concept. The park as a meeting point for the whole community and community groups is a good way of having the modern and historic values in the same area."

And while the review found the cottage inappropriate "the inclusion of modern buildings into a historically significant area creates local cultural significance for the new buildings".

Noosa architect John Mainwaring, who prepared the original Wallace Park master plan, has endorsed the updated plan, the council report says.

"A letter from Mr Mainwaring supporting the draft master plan congratulates council on the updated plan 'which has kept the original ideas and shows what a great public facility it is, in a very Noosa way, without dominance of the built environment. As well as the environment attributes it embraces the 'biosphere' principles of history and heritage'."

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