28/02/2017 - 14:35

Reviving history at Swan Valley site

28/02/2017 - 14:35

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The Swan Settler’s Cooperative was built in 1923 and represents early 1900s Swan Valley commercial enterprise. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Restoration work is set to get under way on one of the Swan Valley’s oldest buildings, with plans lodged to create a grower’s market, art gallery and artist studios, grape processing facility and winery (with cellar door) at the old Swan Settler’s Cooperative in Herne Hill.

According to the state’s register of heritage places, the Swan Settler’s Cooperative was established in 1913, while the existing buildings on site were constructed in 1923, and were used for the processing and packaging of local produce.

Other historical uses included dried fruit processing, hardware supplies, refrigerated facilities for export grapes and wines, honey production and chocolate manufacturing.

The redevelopment will comprise the restoration of the 1923 building’s façade, which is listed on Western Australia’s register of heritage places, construction of a new entry canopy, the demolition of a brick building and steel shed, and the construction of 122 car bays.

Along with the art gallery, markets and winery, the development will include a 160 square metre conference centre with a 40-person capacity.

The majority of the building is currently vacant, while planning approval for a similar development was granted by the City of Swan in March 2012.

A previous application to redevelop the property into a market and tavern was refused in 2008, over concerns the proposal would create a precedent for retail development contrary to the rural character of the area, and because it was not in line with local planning rules.

Local planning firm Harley Dykstra produced the development application on behalf of landowner Lot 43 Pty Ltd, which lists HopgoodGanim Lawyers partner Kevin Dundo as one of its directors.

Plans were lodged with the City of Swan late last month, with the metropolitan east development assessment panel to assess the proposal in coming weeks.

Mr Dundo told Business News a winemaker had been selected to operate the viticulture facilities at the site, however he would not be drawn on its identity.

Mr Dundo said he was excited to produce a development that would reflect the building’s significance in Swan Valley history.

“It’s 6,600 square metres under one roof, so the layout supports the concept we’ve developed,” he said.

Assuming the project wins DAP approval, he said construction would proceed as quickly as possible.

“We haven’t had any negative feedback yet from any quarters, so one would hope it would proceed smoothly,” Mr Dundo said.

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