THE family of an elderly Ballarat resident who bequeathed an historic cottage to them say they want to donate it back to its original home at Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens.
However, a heritage study commissioned by the City of Ballarat has identified the cottage had significance to the street in which it is currently located.
The gatehouse cottage, at 1414 Gregory Street, Lake Wendouree, has been in Sue Guthrie’s family for more than 90 years.
Ms Guthrie’s aunt, Ruth Beaton, lived in the cottage until she died, aged 101, on May 15.
In the days following her death, Ms Guthrie said was contacted by Friends of the Botanical Gardens president Mike Sorrell.
“Mr Sorrell advised us that the cottage was one the garden’s original gatehouses and that the group had an interest in the preservation of the cottage,” Ms Guthrie said.
Ms Guthrie said the family was willing to donate the cottage at no cost, so it could be relocated back to the garden and used as part of an educational precinct that would preserve it into future.
However, Ms Guthrie said the cost to relocate the cottage was between $30,000 and $40,000.
After the family was contacted by the Friends of the Botanical Gardens, they sought advice from the City of Ballarat which commissioned a study on the cottage.
Ms Guthrie said the family was left in a predicament where they could not sell the cottage or land.
She said potential buyers had been lost due the indecision of the council which have flagged the possibility of seeking an interim heritage protection from the state government, preventing the cottage from being demolished or moved.
General manager of city strategy Natalie Reiter said “extensive discussions” had been held with the family about the cottage.