Owner hopeful of decision change on cottages



Launceston's Michael Newton says a 1991 fire report vindicates his attempts to remove two 1870s properties from the Tasmanian Heritage Register.

He's also obtained an internal Heritage Tasmania email stating it was ``not implausible'' that the 1998 registration of the cottages may have been faulty.

``I think we should try and avoid being drawn in to debate over the original registration,'' the email says.

The saga to have the Tasmanian Heritage Council delist the two cottages in Boland Street Launceston has lasted 14 years.

During that time Mr Newton said he'd been cast as a ``bad person'' who was deliberately running down the cottages to have them deregistered through neglect.

But he pointed to a recently obtained report by the Tasmania Fire Service into the fire that occurred five years before he bought the properties.

The report states a ``suspiciously'' lit fire that reached 700 degrees burned through the ``derelict'' cottages for 25 minutes ``fully'' destroying the property.

Photos from the report show most of the roof was destroyed during the fire, which resulted in the properties being exposed to the elements.

He said the properties suffered two more fires, one before he bought them and another after.

The Heritage Council has already started the process for delisting the cottages and a public consultation and submission stage ends on Saturday.

Mr Newton said he was hoping for a final decision at the council's September 19 meeting.

He said he'd been formally refused a delisting in 2008 and 1998.

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