Plotting to save Perth heritage

PERTH heritage aficionados are working behind the scenes to change the public perception that heritage listing a property translates to added costs and development disadvantage. Launched last year, the City of Perth Heritage Appeal is aiming to raise $5 million over the next five years to provide grants to heritage property owners wishing to restore buildings in the city area. Appeal chairman and Emerson Stewart chief executive, Dario Amara, said the heritage appeal had one shot to get it right and was still on track to reach its objectives. “People quite often feel commercially disadvantaged after their property is heritage listed, but they don’t realise there are benefits,” he said. One such incentive on offer from the City of Perth is the right to transfer up to 75 per cent of any bonus plot ratio entitle-ments to other parties, who can then use it on properties in another location. Unused plot ratio can also be “banked”, Mr Amara said, and later on-sold to other developers. Plot ratio is the ratio of the floor area of a building to the area of land on which its stands and essentially guides the development capacity of a particular site. Council approved the first trade in June between sites in East Perth and West Perth, however further take-up of the scheme is believed to be slow. Mr Amara said the appeal was committed to raising public awareness of the issue and would soon hold planning meetings with the government.

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