A DEVELOPMENT application (DA) has been lodged to restore the Ern Prior Pavilion at Bathurst Showground after the NSW government threw the building a lifeline.
In January, 2023, the NSW government agreed to provide $410,788 through its Crown Reserves Improvement Fund to allow for the structural remediation works to the pavilion.
The money came after outrage from the family of Ern Prior, who the pavilion was named after, at the prospect of the structure being knocked down due to structural integrity issues and the enormous cost to carry out restoration works.
Now, a new DA has been lodged seeking development consent to demolish and replace the pavilion.
Some original elements of the structure will be retained and reused in the new structure.
This will ensure the family legacy is retained, which Ern Prior's granddaughter, Marje Prior, said is what they had hoped for.
"For our family, it's very symbolic, because this shed was built by the hands of three generations of our family: my great grandfather, grandfather, father," she said.
"The timber was actually cut and milled on our land on Fremantle Road and carted in on an old reo truck."
The Ern Prior Cattle Pavilion was constructed in 1952 and relocated to its present location in 1997.
A Bathurst Showground Conservation Management Plan update in 2012 identified the grading of significance of this pavilion as having moderate contributory significance to the showground.
A Heritage Impact Statement, prepared by Ray Christison of High Ground Consulting, was submitted with the DA and notes some of the work that would occur to replace the existing pavilion.
This would include:
The existing building signage, selected timber screens, cast iron bull hitching rings, and internal posts (where suitable) are to be retained and reused in the new pavilion.
Mr Christison said the replacement structure has been planned to reflect the aesthetics of the existing pavilion and of other livestock pavilions located within the showground precinct.
He also said the demolition and construction of a new building is considered the most cost-effective way of removing a building that has become a public hazard and is no longer of use for safe operation of showground activities.
"Construction of a replacement will ensure that the functions previously provided by the Ern Prior Cattle Pavilion are retained within the capacity of the showground complex," he said.
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