28/05/2008 - 22:00

City wants precinct approach to heritage

28/05/2008 - 22:00

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City wants precinct approach to heritage

The luxury retail strip of King Street is the subject of a new heritage study by the City of Perth, which could result in a number of areas within the city being named as conservation areas.

It's part of a wider project by the city to revise its planning policy for areas of heritage significance.

Previously, sites of heritage value were often grouped together as 'heritage precincts', although later policies led to buildings being individually listed.

The city wants to revert to the precinct approach, and has commissioned Nedlands-based Heritage & Conservation Professionals to put together a report on part of King Street, from Hay Street to Wellington Street.

City of Perth strategy project officer Callum Crofton said the King Street study would be a pilot for other areas of heritage value in the city.

"We want to use this as a basis for creating other conservation areas. What it's going to do is give us more clarity on what we're trying to achieve with heritage places. There's a degree of uncertainty at the moment," Mr Crofton said.

"It will give greater information to individual property owners on what makes their building special."

Mr Crofton said retailing in the area had benefited from the retention of many buildings close to their original condition, and other areas could benefit from a similar precinct approach.

"King Street has performed so well commercially largely because it has retained its heritage values," he told WA Business News.

One of the other areas likely to be the subject of a similar study is Hay Street Mall, which was formerly a heritage precinct.

Others include parts of Hay Street and Murray Street, the area at the intersection of William and Wellington streets, Queen Street and Aberdeen Street in Northbridge.

The east and west sides of King Street, from Hay to Wellington streets, are already listed on the Heritage Council of Western Australia's state heritage register.

The city has also moved to grant property owners of heritage buildings a 4 per cent subsidy on loans of up to $50,000.

The program, which is an initiative of the WA Local Government Association and Heritage Council of WA, encourages property owners to undertake conservation work.

Eligible properties must be listed under the city planning scheme, state register of heritage places, register of national estate, national heritage list or the National Trust of Australia (WA) list of classified places.

Funding for the subsidy will be provided by the Heritage Council and local governments.

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