THE Tasmanian Heritage Council considered the case for the preservation of New Norfolk’s historic Ward 7 at its last meeting but made no decision. In a media release this week, chairman Michael Lynch said representations over the proposed heritage listing of the building were evenly split, for and against.
The matter arose last month when the company North Hobart Constructions Pty Ltd applied for permission to redevelop the site. Ward 7 is one of only two buildings on the former Royal Derwent Hospital site to have an unusual below-ground security wall – mistakenly referred to as a Ha-Ha Wall.
“At Ward 7, the wall was designed to confine mentally ill patients within a secure yard. Very few remain in Australia,” Mr Lynch said. “The Heritage Council is still to determine a current development application to demolish Ward 7 and the Ha-Ha Wall,” he said.
Erected in 1965, Ward 7 is a unique part of Tasmania’s built-heritage as well as an integral element of the 180-year history of mental health care in New Norfolk.