His­toric blun­der feared

FIGHT AGAINST PLAN TO DE­VELOP HO­TEL SITE

Midland Reporter - - Front Page - Lau­ren Pe­den

RES­I­DENTS fight­ing to pro­tect Belle­vue’s Dar­ling Range Ho­tel from be­com­ing a ser­vice sta­tion say such a devel­op­ment would com­pro­mise the 112-yearold build­ing’s his­toric value.

The com­ments fol­low a Metro East Joint Devel­op­ment As­sess­ment Panel (JDAP) de­ci­sion this month to con­di­tion­ally ap­prove the lat­est pro­posal for the Great Eastern High­way fa­cil­ity – in­clud­ing keep­ing part of the orig­i­nal ho­tel – which had been ear­marked for de­mo­li­tion, and pub­lic art for Ho­race Street.

Belle­vue Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Dianne Arvino said the de­vel­oper’s in­ten­tion to par­tially re­tain and ren­o­vate the ho­tel would do lit­tle to pre­serve its her­itage sig­nif­i­cance.

Ms Arvino said they were “ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed” an al­ter­na­tive mo­tion back­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion, which had been rec­om­mended for re­fusal, was unan­i­mously sup­ported at the July 7 hear­ing.

Min­utes from the meet­ing said the rea­son ap­proval was granted was be­cause con­cerns pre­vi­ously raised – in­clud­ing the her­itage as­pect of the pro­posal – had been ad­dressed.

Prior ap­pli­ca­tions for the devel­op­ment were re­jected by the panel, with the most re­cent in April for not com­ply­ing with an amend­ment to the City of Swan’s lo­cal plan­ning scheme pro­hibit­ing a ser­vice sta­tion as a land use for the site.

Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Fo­ley said the City be­lieved the ap­pli­ca­tion should have been re­fused again on that ba­sis.

“The pro­po­nent will now need to pro­vide the re­quired in­for­ma­tion, as set out in the con­di­tions of the JDAP plan­ning ap­proval, to the City prior to site works com­menc­ing,” he said.

“They will also need to make an ap­pli­ca­tion to the City for a build­ing per­mit and a de­mo­li­tion li­cence.”

The pro­po­nent will now need to pro­vide the re­quired in­for­ma­tion, as set out in the con­di­tions of the JDAP plan­ning ap­proval, to the City prior to site works com­menc­ing.

Mr Fo­ley said the in­clu­sion of some form of ref­er­ence to the his­tory of the build­ing was not the sug­ges­tion of the City but a de­ci­sion made by JDAP.

“It re­mains to be seen whether the in­clu­sion of this ele­ment will sat­isfy those op­posed to the devel­op­ment for her­itage or his­tor­i­cal rea­sons,” he said.

Ms Arvino said it of­fered no pro­tec­tion for the ho­tel, with one third still to be knocked down.

“It is shame­ful on the part of the de­ci­sion mak­ers that a ran­dom ser­vice sta­tion devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion has more value than the his­toric 112-year-old Dar­ling Range Ho­tel,” she said.

“There’s no con­ser­va­tion works be­ing done on the build­ing … if the in­ten­tion was to pre­serve our her­itage, they’d ac­tu­ally be look­ing at re­in­stat­ing the ve­ran­das, restor­ing the bricks.

“In their photo the chim­ney was ac­tu­ally gone.”

She said once the ser­vice sta­tion was against the ho­tel there was lit­tle chance it would be her­itage-listed.

“We were on the back foot from the be­gin­ning be­cause the City didn’t recog­nise the his­toric value of the build­ing and had it on its mu­nic­i­pal in­ven­tory,” she said.

“That may be able to change; we ac­tu­ally lob­bied for them to have it in their re­view… that will be up for de­ci­sion by the coun­cil on what level it will be put in the in­ven­tory.

“It re­ally needs to be put on a level that’s pro­tected from de­mo­li­tion; it needs to be on level two.”

She said the ser­vice sta­tion had also taken pri­or­ity over a long-term plan for a neigh­bour­hood cen­tre to re­vi­talise Belle­vue un­der the City’s Belle­vue East Land Use Study.

Bruce Hunt Pic­ture: d471538

The his­toric Dar­ling Range Ho­tel (above) and an artist’s im­pres­sion of the ser­vice sta­tion pro­posed.

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