Berkeley Flats death warrant signed

THE death warrant for the old Berkeley Flats at 190 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth has been signed by the Perth City Council.

At its 9 November meeting council agreed to the demolition of the 1940s-built flats.

A seventeen-storey, eighty-six apartments building with a function centre, eating house and consulting rooms will rise in its place.

Council first considered the application for the serviced apartment complex at its 26 October meeting but deferred the matter to give the applicants time to make some changes to the building’s design.

The Berkeley Flats was also the subject of a last ditch bid for heritage redemption.

Heritage advocates and members of the Art Deco Society rallied on its premises on 24 October.

However, the Heritage Council of WA said: “after careful consideration of the evidence available the building does not have sufficient heritage significance at the State level”.

Under questioning from heritage advocate Jim Richards, council CEO Garry Hunt admitted council was in breach of Section 45 (Municipal Inventories) of the Heritage Act.

Under that section council was required to have its Municipal Inventory of Heritage Places completed in 1995. As yet that list is not completed.

Mr Hunt said the break up of the old

council which spawned the Towns of Vincent, Cambridge and Victoria Park had caused the delay in the completion of the inventory.

The Town of Vincent was still able to complete its inventory on time.

Mr Hunt said council was working with the Heritage Council to prepare a database that would be used as a model for local

government WA-wide.

Mr Richards said the lack of a Municipal Inventory had meant the Berkeley Flats were not afforded proper protection.

Mr Hunt said in light of the Heritage Council’s comments, the building was not of heritage significance.

Council has, however, asked for an archival record of measured drawings and photographs to be provided prior to the building’s demolition.

Councillor Laurance Goodman said he had consistently voted for the approval of the redevelopment of properties not listed by the Heritage Council.

“I believe they are the experts, not us,” Mr Goodman said.

“I rather like the building. As this property is not heritage listed, we can’t deny the owners the right to redevelop their property.”

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