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Heritage furore ignored on Mount Street

A PLAN to build a seven storey, six-apartment building at 60 Mount Street, West Perth has been approved by council, despite a negative recommendation from council staff.

Staff argued the height of the $3 million development would cause a loss of privacy to neighbours.

Four comments were received on the proposed development. Three raised concerns and the fourth was in favour.

They also argued the demolition of the existing Victorian-style terrace house that currently occupies the site would have a detrimental impact on the streetscape.

The old house is listed on council’s Draft Municipal Register of Heritage Places and now the Heritage Council of WA is considering investigating the building’s heritage significance.

But Councillor Judy McEvoy moved approval.

Some of the approval conditions included the provision of dense landscaping on both side boundaries, the garden treatment and landscaping within the Mount Street setback to be carried out to council’s satisfaction, communal open space areas above the basement car parking deck to be fully landscaped and two verge trees on Mount Street to be retained.

A photographic record of the house currently occupying the property must also be kept.

“The developers went to the Heritage Council and there was no mention of the house being of heritage significance,” Mrs McEvoy said.

“They’ve spent $60,000 and were then told the house may have heritage significance.

“I feel they’ve gone so far into this that it is unfair for us to come along and say they can’t go ahead because of heritage.

“The development complies with the Mount Street guidelines.”

Councillor Laurance Goodman said the approval was consistent with similar decisions made by council.

“There is some indication the Heritage Council might assess the property and find might find heritage value,” Mr Goodman said.

“To leave the developer in limbo is obviously just not fair. It is not allowing natural justice.”

Councillor Tess Stroud said the “heritage people should not be allowed to bring these things in retrospectively”.

Council has already had several run-ins with the Heritage Council of development applications.

Councillor Noel Semmens said this situation confirmed the need for council to accelerate the completion of its Draft Municipal Inventory of Heritage Places.

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