What has been described as a landmark early settlers slab cottage and one of the most important direct links with the birth of Australia's agricultural industry, is on death row and likely to soon be demolished.
Pomfrett's Cottage at Woodville has been recommended for demolition by Port Stephens Council - it's fate decided at a meeting on Tuesday.
Maitland Heritage Guardians founder Chris Richards said council staff have recommended the cottage be approved for demolition.
"The main reasons given by council for the demolition is that the building is imminently due to collapse and that to restore it would require replacement of most of its original fabric," Mr Richards said.
"Council has not undertaken or received any other reports for the buildings structural adequacy or a report on the amount of original fabric needing to be replaced," he said.
He claims only visual assessments have been made and council has not been able to enter the building for further assessment.
"Council is relying purely on visual reports to approve demolition. This is legally not possible for council to recommend demolition purely on visual sightings only."
A report to council said: A site inspection by council's building officers identified a number of concerns regarding the structural integrity of the current dwelling. The dwelling was on a significant lean, with compromised structural components. An internal investigation was determined to be too high risk due to concerns of potential collapse.
Mr Richards said the Burra Charter, the Heritage office guidelines and Heritage Act NSW, specifically refers to a full assessment to be undertaken before demolition is approved for a heritage listed item.
He said the council must obtain independent reports from suitably qualified heritage structural engineers and suitably qualified fabric replacement experts.
"These reports need to assess the buildings structural integrity and a report on the amount of fabric that may need to be replaced.
"It has been bought to my attention by a long-time local resident that the building contains many original fixtures and fittings including furniture, toys documents etc from the building's early history," Mr Richards said.
"These items are classified as movable objects and are part of the building's heritage significance."