Thorndon's Unique Heritage: More Protection Needed?

23 April 2009

Residents are urged to visit an information display on Thorndon's heritage streets and buildings from this Sunday 26 April in the Thorndon Village, and to give Wellington City Council their views on how best to approach heritage issues in the suburb.

The Council has organised the display to provide fuller information about whether parts of Thorndon should be classed and protected as heritage areas, and to canvas public opinion.

The Council's Urban Development Portfolio Leader, Cr Andy Foster, says Thorndon's heritage is back on the agenda because the Council is reviewing the residential area and suburban centre zones of the District Plan. Part of Thorndon is already identified as a character area in the District Plan.

"Last year, we commissioned a team of experts to carry out a full heritage audit of Thorndon, which included a street-by-street analysis of most of the suburb," says Cr Foster. The team's report, presented in December, concluded that Thorndon is one of New Zealand's oldest and most historic suburbs and that it has "significant heritage values".

The report said that despite the impact of the motorway in the 1970s and other changes, Thorndon still has an extraordinary collection of early cottages from the 1860s onwards and many more 19th and 20th century buildings.

"It identified Thorndon's streetscapes as having national importance because they are a unique remnant of the very early planned settlement of Wellington. Many buildings also have connections with significant historical figures," says Cr Foster.

The Council is seeking public feedback on possible options for how Thorndon's heritage values could be best managed into the future.

Because of the degree of public interest, the Council has extended the consultation period on the draft Plan changes relating specifically to Thorndon's heritage to 29 May.

The display will be on show from Sunday 26 April to Sunday 3 May, at 3/310 Tinakori Road, in the Thorndon Village. Council staff will be available to answer questions. The display will be staffed during the following times: Monday to Friday: 12 noon –2.00pm; 5.00pm – 8.00pm, and weekends: 11.00am – 3.00pm.