02/07/2021 - 13:37

Hay Street to reopen after tribunal backs building orders

02/07/2021 - 13:37

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Sanur will be required to comply with an order from the City of Subiaco to stabilise its buildings and facilitate the reopening of Hay Street.

The closure of a large portion of Hay Street has been a contentious issue in recent months. Photo: Jesinta Burton

Private property firm Sanur will be required to comply with an order from the City of Subiaco to stabilise its buildings and facilitate the reopening of Hay Street, following a decision by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

The two parties had been in dispute for more than four months after an engineering report revealed Sanur’s buildings at 424-436 and 440 Hay Street were in an active state and at risk of collapse.

The company, which is the city’s largest private landholder, had been progressing plans to develop the site into a $250 million commercial precinct when the structural integrity issues surfaced.

The buildings were vacated and the section of street adjacent to the buildings closed, with the council voting to appoint a structural engineer with heritage experience to undertake a building assessment; arguing that, having been constructed in 1912 and 1921, they held heritage value.

The closure of a large portion of the once-busy cafe strip has been a contentious issue in recent months, causing angst within the business community and exacerbating tensions.

In March, the city issued a building order to compel Sanur to stabilise the buildings and allow it to reopen Hay Street, but the company appealed the order to the SAT in a bid to exchange it for a demolition order.

In a decision handed down yesterday, the tribunal set aside the heritage conservation notice, but ordered stabilisation works to be undertaken by August 6 and remedial works on 440 Hay Street to be undertaken by September 10.

It is understood the tribunal did not have the authority to vary the current order or issue an alternative.

While finding that the buildings held heritage significance and contributed positively to the area, the tribunal decided to strike out the heritage conservation notices issued by the city.

In striking out the notices, Sanur director Cara McIntyre said the tribunal found the structural condition of the buildings was not a result of a lack of maintenance by Sanur.

“The City of Subiaco made several unsubstantiated public allegations around Sanur allowing the buildings to fall into disrepair, which could not be further from the truth of how we run our commercial property business,” she said. 

The company said the prompt reopening of Hay Street had always been its objective.

City of Subiaco acting chief executive Cliff Frewing said the outcome was a win for the city and the community and reiterated calls for Sanur to comply with the orders promptly to allow for the reopening of Hay Street.

“It’s regrettable that Sanur appealed these orders; if they had complied when they were served, the city would have been able to reopen the full extent of Hay Street much earlier and save businesses a lot of anxiety,” he said.

“This closure has had a huge impact on businesses and the community, and has cost everyone involved a lot of money, time and stress.

“I continue to implore Sanur to comply with these orders expeditiously so we can reopen the full extent of Hay Street and our businesses located on this arterial road can get back to thriving.

“This is a great outcome for our community, our local businesses, and the heritage of Subiaco.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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