There are 6 heritage conservation areas listed in the Tweed Local Environmental Plans:
Condong Sugar Mill (McLeod Street)
The Condong Sugar Mill has been of major importance in the history of the Tweed district since 1878. The CSR Company started construction of the mill in 1879, with river transport delivering the cane to the site.
Tramways to the higher ground were constructed in the 1890s to escape the frost prone areas adjoining the river flats. Coastal steamers conveyed the sugar to refineries and markets as the two State Government railways were of different gauges and there was no connection between Tweed Heads (Queensland) and Murwillumbah (NSW). The Railway line from Murwillumbah to Condong was the longest siding in NSW when opened in 1894.
The site at Condong incorporates the sugar mill structures, remnant sidings and tram tracks including a length of standard gauge track from the Murwillumbah line. Condong also comprises significant landscapes including the river foreshores and substantial fig trees, the Mill Manager’s residence, redundant moorings, the Company recreation area with tennis courts and typical timber, worker housing.
The site and structures have been regularly adapted to meet new conditions and changes in technology and transport. The mill buildings exhibit a range of connected structures, materials and finishes representing the historical development of the industry and associated technology.
Hartigan’s Hill (Eyles Ave / Myrtle Street)
The houses within the Hartigan’s Hill Conservation Area (HHCA) provide a comparative continuity with the commercial development in the MMSCA. The scale and quality of the residences reflect the commercial strength and stability of a local economy dependent upon the timber and dairy industries during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries.
There are good examples of traditional timber houses, brick and tile houses and the early use of fibro cladding on lightweight construction. The architectural styles include Federation, Filigree and Bungalow elements on buildings dating from the late Victorian, Federation, Edwardian and Inter-war periods.
The scale of the houses varies, in accordance with means as well as social station providing a combination of workers cottages, merchant and professional houses. A corner shop and adjoining local Primary School with classrooms and facilities anchor the precinct across the generations.
Murwillumbah (Wharf, Queen, Murwillumbah and Wollumbin Streets and Commercial and Queensland Roads)
The Murwillumbah Main Street has been the subject of a Main Street Study and through this study, a range of significant buildings were identified, each of which was either significant in its own right or contributed to the heritage character of the entire precinct. The Tweed CBHS identified an additional number of buildings with heritage significance based on an appreciation of the historical development of the street with key events, such as the 1907 fire, frequent flooding and the importance of developments during the Inter-war years each playing important roles in the developments and eventual character of Murwillumbah’s main street.
The Murwillumbah Main Street Conservation Area’s (MMSCA) curtilage is defined by Church Lane, Wharf St, Proudfoots Lane, the Byangum western junction, the Queen Street eastern junction and a small section of Wollumbin and Commercial Roads.
The general streetscape is dominated by a number of pre-1939 buildings, with masonry facades featuring distinctive parapets. These buildings set the background of the street and have the potential for simple heritage colour schemes and contemporary signs in-keeping with the tradition of parapet sign panels and suspended awnings. The distinctive parapets, with their mouldings and projections, may be also highlighted to make these buildings the centrepieces of the overall character precinct.
The remainder of the street has retained a considerable degree of integrity and has a clearly identifiable precinct with simple boundaries. The MMSCA has retained the majority of inter-war and post war buildings, with some additional examples which also predate those eras. The majority of buildings in the MMSCA have generally been fitted with cantilever style verandahs/awnings. In sheer numbers, the integrity of this period of development is impressive and has great potential to be consolidated and enriched.
Several buildings of individual and historic significance, such as the Police Station and Courthouse group, Credit Union, BGF, Westpac and National Banks, Regent Cinema, Imperial and Murwillumbah Hotels punctuate the architectural character of the MMSCA. Several of these notable examples have great potential for significant restoration, which would not only enhance their own value significantly, but also enhance the MMSCA in many ways.
In addition to those buildings mentioned above, there are several distinguished buildings such as Salmon’s Pharmacy, Tweed House, Doctor’s Surgery, Tweed Arcade and the Austral Café, which have retained their integrity both internally as well as externally, a somewhat rarer occurrence, providing continuity to the commercial development of the precinct. While some have been damaged through poorly located signs and air-conditioning equipment, the potential for improvement is substantial.
There are few buildings which detract from the streetscape (considered intrusive or non-contributory items). However, those that have undergone inappropriate changes, in aesthetic terms, may be re-painted in schemes which reduce their impact and allow the unique streetscape to come forward. Some elements such as signs, awnings and facades may simply be replaced when they reach the end of their useful lives, with details in any future heritage DCP providing advice and guidance for such efforts.
However, one point which detracts from the overall significance of the MMSCA is that many buildings have signs which are not in keeping with the character of the buildings they are attached to. Some of these may have been erected without consideration of their impact upon the heritage façade of the buildings. Signage, by its nature being significantly noticeable, has the potential to enhance a building’s appearance but may also detract from a place. The size, placement, colour and proliferation of signs tends to dominate the vistas to each building’s façade. A discussion on streetscape signs should allow a new code to be provided through consultation with business and the community and form part of any future heritage DCP. The new code should to keep all signage opportunities on an equal footing, with the requirements of the MMSCA underlying all considerations.
The village has historical significance for the Tweed district as the main centre of the valley prior to the growth of Murwillumbah; it contains a range of significant sites and a landscape setting with integrity largely free of detracting elements.
The extent of the village is defined by Riverside Drive including the adjacent lots and the reserve, from Government Road north to the 1987 bridge across the river.
Significant places include the Tumbulgum Tavern, Community Hall, Tea House and residence, the Ferry approach and St. Peter’s Anglican Church. Specific controls are required within the current LEP to encourage sympathetic development within the village.
The Coolman streetscape demonstrates the typical character of the north coast village within the Tweed district. Significant places include the Community Hall, Tyalgum Store, the Bakery and the Butter Factory.
The Tyalgum Hotel has social significance, having served the local community for more than 70 years. It is a substantial timber structure, which has been altered to enclose the roof with a parapet and to enclose the front verandah. While these changes are not sympathetic, they are reversible.
The village of Uki is 12km south-west of Murwillumbah on the bank of the South Arm of the Tweed River. Timber buildings, generally of a modest scale, are located on the main road with the steep hills and Mt. Warning (Wollumbin) providing a remarkable scenic backdrop setting. The character of the village typifies a pattern of loose development and land uses once dominant in the region. The integrity of the landscape and built forms is generally intact, although the there has been a notable rate of change in more recent years.
The village has been a Conservation Area since 1987 and development has generally been sympathetic. Specific controls are required within the current LEP and DCP to encourage ongoing sympathetic development within the village.