Reposted article by Errol Smith, Central Coast Express Advocate, 7 January 2014
Historic Alison Homestead is one step closer to being rebuilt after it was burned down by an arsonist in December 2011.A development application has been lodged for reconstruction of the regionally significant heritage attraction.
The late 19th century farmhouse, long associated with the pioneering Alison family, was renowned for its social, cultural and historical significance as the oldest house in the town of Wyong, before being tragically destroyed by an arson attack in December 2011.
As the site’s owner, Wyong Shire Council has since worked closely with the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society, that manages the site on a volunteer basis, to develop a sound proposal to restore and reconstruct the least-damaged southern wing of the homestead.
“This is a significant milestone for everyone who cares about Alison Homestead,” said Council’s Manager of Community Partnerships and Planning, Julie Vaughan.
“And we are talking about a lot of people.”
“I’ve received countless letters and emails from people keen to see the homestead rebuilt; they don’t want the mindless act of arsonists to be the end of this much-loved community asset.”
Council is planning for a new building to function as a museum/heritage centre to be constructed on the footprint of the original homestead but with a more flexible and functional internal area to accommodate a broader range of uses.
“We have worked closely with the wonderful volunteers from the Historical Society to come up with this proposal,” Ms Vaughan said.
“It retains as much of the site’s heritage and cultural identity as possible while also ensuring the Homestead has a viable future in terms of cultural tourism.”