Mr Nick Heath
General Manager
Hobart City Council
Hobart   TAS   7001

Attn. Cameron Sherriff,

RE: PLN-11-00457-01 for subdivision adjacent to Ancanthe Park and Lady Franklin Museum

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to you out of great concern at the proposed subdivision of the land adjacent to the Lady Franklin Museum and its attendant landscape. It will permanently destroy the landscape value and intent of the place.

The Lady Franklin Museum is of National significance in the following areas;

• As the most tangible expression of the cultural, scientific and architectural desires of Lady Jane Franklin produced during the Colonial period.
• As the purest example of a Colonial ‘Grecian temple’ in a natural landscape - a purpose built Museum -  with a clear long term intention to preserve its surrounding landscape
• As a seminal example of theColonial Greek revival form of architecture, within it’s intended natural (‘Arcadian’) landscape, by convict architect James Blackburn.
• As an expression of the highest cultural and artistic aims for the future: of research, biodiversity and the future of the natural environment.
• As a symbol of long term hope and belief in knowledge and taste.

The Museum, landscape and native arboretum were gifted in 1843 to the people of Tasmania, according to the provision of an indenture. This is contained within the Christ College Act of 1926. Christ College Trust shall hold;

… (d) the Ancanthe Estate and Lady Franklin Endowment, and all moneys arising thereunder, upon such trusts, and for such purposes, and for such institutions comprised in Christ College Trust as the Bishop of Tasmania shall deem most advisable, having regard to the provisions of the said indenture of 2nd November1843”.

This indenture does not provide for the subdivision of the original property and is clear about the purpose of the income derived from – for education. This Act was tested recently with the proposed subdivision of Domain House, when proposed for sale by the University of Tasmania in 2003. I would suggest that the legality of the transferral of Lady Franklin Museum and Ancanthe Park to Hobart City Council in 1936 by the then Trustees “for educational benefits to the public” is now questionable. I also suggest that the terms upon which further land use for a purpose not described in the original indenture,  that are not upon the original terms contained within the Act, and that the present scenario could be unfavourably tested, as was the case with Domain House.

The City of Hobart Planning Scheme makes provision for places adjacent to those listed on the Heritage Register:

F.4.4 Any new development within or adjacent to a place listed on the Heritage Register shall be in keeping with and shall not detract from those characteristics of the place which contribute to its cultural significance.

I therefore ask in the strongest possible terms that this proposed subdivision be refused and that the Trust for the future of the place, its intention, interpretation and permanent history be upheld by Hobart City Council.

The loss by adjoining subdivision to the Lady Franklin Museum and AncanthePark of landscape integrity is permanent and detrimental to Australian history. You have a way out.

I am,
Yours Sincerely,

Warwick Oakman
New Town

(Warwick Oakman is an architectural historian and antiques dealer).