04/04/2006 - 22:00

Heritage buildings face uncertainty

04/04/2006 - 22:00

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The National Trust of Australia (WA), a community-based heritage organisation, has raised concerns about the future of Newspaper House and other heritage-listed buildings when the proposed 28-storey Westralia Square building, by Multiplex and Griffin Grou

Heritage buildings face uncertainty

The National Trust of Australia (WA), a community-based heritage organisation, has raised concerns about the future of Newspaper House and other heritage-listed buildings when the proposed 28-storey Westralia Square building, by Multiplex and Griffin Group, gets the green light to start construction.

The development application submitted to the City of Perth reportedly indicated a rear part of the heritage-listed buildings would need to be cut in half to make way for a more modern façade.

The Heritage Council of WA would offer recommendations to the Perth City Council before work would take place. Construction is currently on hold pending approval due to the failure of the proposed development to attract an anchor tenant.

National Trust chief executive Tom Perrigo said the offices incorporating Newspaper House and Perth Technical College were beautiful examples of pre-war architecture with original features still in place and artifacts on show.

“Heritage is a ‘value’ not a building, what happens to the social fabric of our city when these values are compromised?” he asked.

The 60m frontage of Westralia Square site consists of the former Perth Technical School, established in 1932, the WA Trustee Building, established in 1892 and the former Royal Insurance Building and Newspaper House, built in 1910 and now housing three commercial tenants.

Mulitplex and Griffin Group submitted an application in June 2005 for a $450 million mixed-use project, including approximately 800 car bays, 17,000 sq metres of retail space and 37,000 sq metres of office space.

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