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Flynn considers next steps in heritage appeal

Flynn community groups and architect Enrico Taglietti are hoping to negotiate over coming weeks an agreement to protect heritage and community values at the Flynn Primary School.

An appeal to the Supreme Court is also looming, following the unexpected decision of ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to refuse heritage listing of Flynn, according to Flynn community spokesperson, Roger Nicoll.

“There has been such wide acknowledgement of the heritage and community value that the Tribunal’s announcement came as a real shock and disappointment to many people,” Mr Nicoll said.

“On studying the decision, it is our belief that the Tribunal repeated the same errors and omissions of fact and was influenced by the same irrelevant matters as the ACT Heritage Council.”

“The Australian Institute of Architects endorsed the Flynn nomination for citation in 2007, an Independent assessment by heritage architect Ken Charlton found the Flynn School worthy of heritage listing, and even the ACT Heritage Council supported the Flynn listing until a late change-of-mind,” Mr Nicoll said. Speaking about Flynn on ABC radio in 2009, the Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said he “would be stunned if it doesn’t receive heritage listing”.

The Flynn community presented documents, letters, statements of support and a legal petition – a total indication of support from more than 700 people and many other groups or association across, Flynn, Belconnen, the ACT and even elsewhere in Australia.

“Given all this support, one of the most absurd findings by the Tribunal was that there was no community or cultural group that valued the Flynn school and surrounds. Unfortunately the Tribunal appears to have been convinced by the ACT Heritage Council’s claim that the entire ACT community needs to value an object or place, which, if even one person disagreed, would make it impossible for a nomination to qualify under this criterion.”

On the same day as the shock news from the Tribunal, the John Flynn Community Group received some hope through the drafting of a conservation management strategy for Flynn and the promise that the government would negotiate the community proposal for future use of the site.

“We welcome these first steps to protecting heritage through a conservation management plan, and we look forwards to negotiating our proposal for a multi-use local community hub as part of the full site masterplanning,” Mr Nicoll said.
The Flynn community has another three weeks to lodge an appeal against the Tribunal decision to the Supreme Court.

Images from Flynn

Angles on the textured concrete walls


Flynn grounds

Landscape setting & grounds

Enrico Taglietti visting the school he designed

History and design

Memorial to John Flynn

Memorial to John Flynn