An historic cottage in the rural hamlet of Woodville is marked for demolition and heritage advocate Chris Richards is not happy.
Mr Richards of Maitland Heritage Guardians, will take on Port Stephens Council in a bid to block the demolition of what he says is a nationally significant structure and one that potentially has links to international boxing great Les Darcy.
Pomfrett's Cottage, on Paterson Road, was originally part of Albion Farm and is listed as a significant heritage item in the Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013.
"I have spoken to key people in the area about the cottage, including Albion Farm owner Phil Redman, and they're not too pleased with the demolition order," Mr Richards said.
"The information from this research and my own research shows that Albion Farm was a site that Governor Macquarie allocated to some pre-settlers in 1812 to look at producing more food for the starving colony," he said.
He said Albion Farm is Australia's oldest continuing rural farming site and the cottage could have been built as early as 1812-1820.
"The proposal before Port Stephens Council is for demolition and construction of a house," Mr Richards said.
"This cottage is probably one of the most painted and photographed cottages in the Hunter Valley, perhaps NSW.
"I've spoken to other members of the Woodville community and I believe they are interested in purchasing the site from the owner through fundraising and grants and restoring it into a local museum.
"There is also some evidence that Les Darcy was born at the rear of the site. I haven't been able to confirm that but on the Woodville School of Arts website it is mentioned there. There is some connection with the Darcy family."
Mr Richard said the report before council lacks key heritage data and makes no mention of Albion Farm or the significance of the cottage. "It is of great heritage significance - national significance," he said. "I will approach council and ask them to refer this to the heritage office for assessment."