THE Derwent Valley Council has announced the “immediate termination” of its lease with New Norfolk Distillery on several buildings at the Willow Court historic site in New Norfolk.
In a statement, the council said it would arrange inspections of the Alonnah, Occupational Therapy and Carlton buildings, including exercise yards, “to determine the state of the buildings and identify what maintenance works are required in order to make them safe and to prevent any further deterioration.”
The council says the outcome of those inspections would help the council to consider options for the future use of the buildings. The council decision on the lease does not affect the New Norfolk Distillery’s own property in Humphrey St, New Norfolk, which is in part of the privately-owned section of the historic site.
Representatives of the New Norfolk Distillery have been invited to comment on the council’s action, which follows a recent decision not to sell the Alonnah, Occupational Therapy and Carlton buildings, including exercise yards to the New Norfolk Distillery.
In a statement authorised by mayor Michelle Dracoulis, the council says it is committed to the ongoing “reimagining and revitalisation of this important asset” including the development of a heritage interpretation plan for the precinct to define how the council, “precinct partners and community stakeholders can communicate its heritage values and sensitively manage Willow Court’s story into the future.”
“The adaptive reuse and activation of Willow Court has already seen outcomes, such as the multi-million investment into the Corumbene Health Hub on the Avenue, and restoration work on the Ladies’ Cottage and Nurses Quarters, both currently in development,” the statement said.
“Council will continue to seek opportunities that will ensure ongoing funding for the restoration, maintenance and activation of the site over the long term. We will continue to work with other leaseholders and land owners within this historic precinct to secure its future as an asset to our community.”
The New Norfolk Distillery had proposed a multiple-use redevelopment for the several buildings it leased from the council but the parties had a public parting of ways earlier this year.
- September 2018: New $3m proposal for Willow Court site
- September 2018: Willow Court proposals to be assessed
- May 2019: Willow Court distillery project hits a hurdle
- May 2019: Distillery given tick of approval
- June 2019: Arts hub future for Willow Court
- June 2019: Councillor questions Willow Court ownership plan
- July 2019: Willow Court assessment process questioned
- August 2019: Distillery welcomes Willow Court lease approval
- July 2020: Boutique hotel proposed for Willow Court
- April 2023: Mayor updates New Norfolk Distillery partnership status
- May 2023: Distillery’s future up in the air
- May 2023: No decision on Distillery’s purchase offer
- May 2023: Distillery’s deadline for Derwent Valley Council
- June 2023: Distillery withdraws from government grant process
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