The council has secured conditional approval to undertake conservation works at historic Saint Clair.
It means that almost $1 million worth of work, including $500,000 contributed by the council, can soon proceed.
The development application had been awaiting Office of Environment and Heritage consent conditions, given the 1840s villa’s registration on the State Heritage Register.
Mayor Bob Kirk said these had now been received.
“There is still work to be done however before works can begin, as we must address the terms of approval from the Office of Environment and Heritage, including requirements related to possible archaeological material which may be found and access to and throughout the site,” he said.
The conservation works include replacement of the roof and box gutters; repairs to the brickwork, ceilings and floors; management of rising damp, internal painting, restoration and reconstruction of the veranda, conservation of the rear coach house and new pedestrian and disability access.
Staff, along with the engaged architects, will work through the approval conditions in preparing Section 57 and Section 60 documentation, under the Heritage Act, and amending the plans as per the conditions.
Cr Kirk said this work was necessary in order to attract full endorsement from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, which was essential before any conservation works occurred on-site.
In December, 2016, councillors endorsed a conservation management plan. Architects Tricia Helyar and Peter Freeman were engaged in 2017 to deliver the project.
Meantime, volunteers have shifted thousands of items out of the premises to temporary storage at the council’s Bourke Street depot to allow the work to begin. They will operate from a former workshop next door to Saint Clair for the next year, allowing people to drop in with research enquiries.