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New development metres from cemetery causing controversy

People in Maitland are outraged after they claim the council failed to protect a historic cemetery from a surrounding development.

The cemetery is one of the oldest in the Hunter Valley, with nearly 200-year-old graves acting as the final resting place for Maitland settlers.

A new development just metres away has residents up in arms.

The home-build is located just metres from historic gravesites. 

“I don’t know how they approved it… it should never have been approved,” Joshua Bower said.

It was meant to be a dream retirement home for the property’s owner Michael Hall, who said it was a completely legal development purchased from a real estate agent.

“The house is going to get built, I’m gonna live here cause I wanna live here,” Hall said.


“There was no undisturbed graves, there was no unmarked graves that we were made aware of.”

But local historian Peter Fox said Maitland Council should have adopted a buffer zone around the cemetery given its historical significance.

“There’s multiple reports both commissioned by council and by council all saying that there should be a buffer zone on this side of the cemetery,” he said.

“To actually build the fence line when some of theses graves are only 18 inches from the fence is beyond my comprehension to figure out how a council could permit that, knowing its history and its significance.”

The home sits on a block that was subdivided in 2014. 

Heritage NSW also said it was not aware of any discovery of historic burials associated with the construction activities at the adjacent property.

The council said it was satisfied the construction complied with all approvals and consent conditions.


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