Town tough on her­itage

MAIN­TAIN YOUR OLD HOMES OR COUN­CIL WILL

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

CON­CERNS have been raised about the Town of Vic­to­ria Park’s changes to its town plan­ning scheme in a bid to main­tain his­toric build­ings.

Amend­ment 73 aims to cre­ate a spe­cial con­trol area around large parts of Vic­to­ria Park, where res­i­dents will need de­vel­op­ment ap­provals to de­mol­ish “orig­i­nal dwellings”, and give the coun­cil the abil­ity to serve con­ser­va­tion no­tices for own­ers of orig­i­nal dwellings who do not main­tain their prop­er­ties.

As part of the pro­posal, the Town of Vic­to­ria Park will be able to en­ter the “orig­i­nal dwelling” and carry out re­pairs. The ex­pense in­curred by the coun­cil would then be re­cov­ered as a debt due.

There are about 4990 prop­er­ties in the pro­posed spe­cial con­trol area, with about half in­den­ti­fied as con­tain­ing an orig­i­nal dwelling.

South Perth res­i­dent Rick Sned­den owns a prop­erty in East Vic­to­ria Park that would be af­fected by the pro­posal.

“The con­ser­va­tion no­tice is a ma­jor con­cern. If the own­ers of a prop­erty refuse to make the changes then they will be forced by the coun­cil to make the changes just for the sake of the aes­thetic of the streetscape,” he said.

“Res­i­dents will need to put a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion to the coun­cil to make changes, which will cost $147 and that is ex­pen­sive for fam­i­lies.”

Mr Sned­den said the coun­cil was be­ing “am­bigu­ous” about what styles of houses it wanted to main­tain.

“I have mas­sive con­cerns about what ex­actly the Town is try­ing to main­tain be­cause there are many vari­ables within the Town,” he said.

“A let­ter that went out to res­i­dents un­der­stated the po­ten­tial of the changes, so I’d call for the Town to be more trans­par­ent.”

Town of Vic­to­ria Park fu­ture life and built life di­rec­tor Rochelle Lavery said the in­tro­duc­tion of the State Gov­ern­ment’s Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment (Lo­cal Plan­ning Schemes) Reg­u­la­tions 2015 had af­fected the Town’s plan­ning scheme and poli­cies.

“The reg­u­la­tions con­tain pro­vi­sions which over­ride the Town’s Plan­ning Scheme, in­clud­ing re­mov­ing the need for de­vel­op­ment ap­proval for de­mo­li­tion of a sin­gle house, and the need for de­vel­op­ment ap­proval for new de­vel­op­ment where com­pli­ant with the R-Codes,” she said.

“As these forms of de­vel­op­ment are now ex­empt from de­vel­op­ment ap­proval, Coun­cil’s poli­cies do not ap­ply, in which case Coun­cil has no abil­ity to pro­tect the ‘orig­i­nal’ char­ac­ter dwellings in the Town from de­mo­li­tion, nor the abil­ity to en­sure that new de­vel­op­ment is of a stan­dard that fits into its streetscape.”

Ms Lavery said ‘orig­i­nal dwellings’ in the spe­cial con­trol area would be as­sessed on their ar­chi­tec­tural style, size and scale and set­back from the street, among other fac­tors.

A com­mu­nity meet­ing will be held on Thurs­day at the coun­cil’s ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing from 6pm and sub­mis­sions wel­come un­til March 21.

It is ex­pected the coun­cil will con­sider the amend­ment dur­ing the month of May.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Rick Sned­den is af­fected by the pro­posed changes. d465849

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