Signage in Bungendore, part of a campaign to stop the development of a large supermarket in the town. Photo: Rohan Thomson
An extraordinary meeting, packed council gallery and 2000-signature petition have not resolved a contentious battle at Bungendore over two heritage-listed cottages, which could be removed to make way for a new supermarket and car park.
Many residents in the fast-growing village who have signed the petition say Gibraltar Street is more appropriate for a new supermarket, and that the two heritage cottages in Malbon Street, which forms part of the Kings Highway route to the south coast, should be retained.
When councillors, including Cr Garth Morrison, moved at a recent council meeting to cancel development applications in Malbon Street in order to save the cottages, they were voted down five to three.
''All of us want a supermarket, and the community wants a bigger supermarket too,'' Cr Morrison said.
''They just don't want it at the expense of our heritage-listed cottages.''
Deputy mayor Cr Paul Cockram, who lives at Mongarlowe, east of Braidwood, said the council was trying to get the best outcome and site for the supermarket.
''If it is decided the cottages will stay, we'll go back to plan A, which is to sell the blocks and let the market decide what happens to the houses.
''I think everything has an important heritage value. If you drive through Bungendore at the moment, to my eye anyway, there seems to be a nice mix of new houses and old houses.
''I don't think you have to fight for every single house. The only measure of a successful and vibrant community is not to fight for every single house.
''I am not saying the houses should be demolished, I think we should wait and see what the council decides there.''
Bungendore resident Maureen Elgood said out-of-town councillors did not share village residents' affection for the village's heritage.
Mrs Elgood said about 150 people had attended the council meeting, and coupled with the petition, it showed the depth of feeling in Bungendore.
''People are saying this is not planning, it is ad hoc,'' she said.
''There's not a lot of trust for what the council is doing.''
Councillors can still save the cottages when development applications come back to the council after being independently reviewed.
Despite losing a rescission motion, Cr Morrison remains confident the cottages will be saved thanks to the weight of signatures on the petition.
''I struggle with the concept that we [the council] own that land, we want to develop that land and we have heritage-listed those homes and we want to demolish them.
''We are judge, jury and executioner on those cottages. I am uncomfortable with that.''