THE burnt out shell that was Tenterfield’s Food and Water Canteen on Rouse Street is set to be demolished, leaving the façade intact, to make way for new units.
Owner Dr Amitosh Mondal hopes to submit the preliminary plans for the homes to the Tenterfield Shire Council next week and said he is incorporating the historic street frontage of the original building into the design.
“It has historical significance,” Dr Mondal said.
“But it is a dangerous place at the moment, all the smoke [damage] and the smell, it couldn’t stay like that. New units were the best option. What else could I do?”
A Tenterfield Shire Council spokesperson said they had granted “in principle” support for the concept plans as long as the original façade of the building remains.
Built in 1892 the building was originally the site of Kneipp’s Saddle and Harness Emporium.
Over the years it has been many different businesses, including a toy shop and a clothing store.
Most recently the building was the home of the Food and Water Canteen which burnt down in October last year.
Fire investigators believed the blaze started in the vicinity of the kitchen. It gutted the shop and caused thousands of dollars of damage to the two units behind the building.
No one was seriously injured in the incident although a nearby business owner who had rushed into the blazing building with a fire extinguisher was later taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.
The plan is to build two or three units, slightly larger in size than the units that were originally behind the canteen.
Director of environmental services John Hrobelko said after the initial concept plans were submitted staff made some recommendations and placed some conditions that must be included in the preliminary documents
“There was a range of things but they mainly related to the positioning of the buildings to allow more sunlight, and better parking,” Mr Hrobelko said.
Submitting the preliminary plans is only the first step.
It will be a few more months at least until the demolition and the rebuilding can start.