A COT­TAGE CRY

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

RE­GARD­ING Zone 2 – The Com­mu­nity Zone of the Lath­lain Park Man­age­ment Plan.

On the Draft Plan the care­taker’s cot­tage is ear­marked for de­mo­li­tion. This de­mo­li­tion was not rec­om­mended by any group at the re­cent com­mu­nity meet­ing.

This is a valu­able as­set for the com­mu­nity of Lath­lain Park and the wider com­mu­nity of Vic­to­ria Park.

The house was con­structed in the 1920s and is a solid brick build­ing with an un­sym­pa­thetic paint job over the tuck point­ing.

Firstly, a bit of history; one of the chil­dren who lived in this home built his own family home across the way from his family home.

They were great com­mu­nity peo­ple. The St John Am­bu­lance cadets op­er­ated at Lath­lain Pri­mary School for many years with the guid­ance of a few ded­i­cated com­mu­nity minded peo­ple; one of them be­ing Mr Smith.

I un­der­stand that Mr Smith made and do­nated the school bell to Lath­lain Pri­mary School.

Se­condly, there are very few old style houses left (es­pe­cially in Lath­lain). The mind­set of some peo­ple is to knock it down and build some­thing new. I can­not see that a mod­ern build­ing will last nearly 90 years. It will cost money to ren­o­vate the old home, but done prop­erly the com­mu­nity will have an as­set that will last a long time. It will not be money wasted. Thirdly, there are com­mu­nity groups that re­quire a meet­ing place. Like the women who cur­rently (or used) to play ten­nis on the courts that have been de­mol­ished.

In the cur­rent plan for the old bowl­ing club area, there is only a toi­let block and no “club area” where play­ers can rest be­tween sets or at the end of the day’s play. Could the car park­ing near the cot­tage be multi-func­tional? Al­low­ing for ten­nis courts dur­ing the day and park­ing in the evening and night time. The cot­tage could pro­vide a rest place and a toi­let. There are many com­mu­nity groups that would use this type of venue.

Fourthly, this cot­tage can be a valu­able fo­cal point for the com­mu­nity, a blend of the old with a mod­ern twist. The cot­tage can ap­peal to a wide range of smaller com­mu­nity groups, for ex­am­ple history, friends and na­ture groups (many cur­rently meet at mem­bers’ homes).

I strongly feel that re­tain­ing the cot­tage is the best out­come for the Town of Vic­to­ria Park. We have al­ready de­stroyed too many of our older style homes, com­mu­nity and busi­ness build­ings in this area.

We need to save our pre­cious her­itage, even if it is only 90 years old. The Swan River Colony is not 200 years old un­til 2029.

Let us be more sus­tain­able and re­tain, re­store and ren­o­vate. JEANETTE McPHEE, Vic­to­ria Park.

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