Heritage attacks superannuation nest egg

HERITAGE listings around Perth’s CBD may be robbing Western Australians of their superannuation nest eggs.

Areas such as West Perth are proving popular with investors looking to cash in on the inner city living boom and the demand for office space.

In some cases near city properties have been acting as offices for accountants and other professionals. These people own the properties and have plans to redevelop them to fund their retirements.

However, many of these properties ringing Perth’s CBD have some heritage potential.

If those properties become heritage listed, the development opportunities are greatly reduced and the property is usually devalued.

Owners of properties on the WA Heritage List have to consult with the Heritage Council of WA before making any modifications.

In some cases retaining the façade of a building may be satisfactory. In other cases, internal support structures such as beams are part of the reason the building was heritage listed.

Most developers cannot maximise the benefits of their land while maintaining the heritage aspects of the building.

Property Council of Australia WA branch chief executive Joe Lenzo said concerns rose when a heritage listing was applied after somebody had bought a property.

He said a heritage listing was only an asset in a heritage precinct, such as King Street.

The WA Government has put legislation before Parliament that amends the Heritage Act to allow reduced valuations of heritage listed properties.

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