22/02/2021 - 16:03

Sanur frustrated by precinct plan

22/02/2021 - 16:03

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A draft development plan outlining the vision for the future of Subiaco’s “beating heart” has copped criticism from the site’s largest private landholder.

Sanur frustrated by precinct plan
The company, which owns and had planned to develop buildings 424-436 and 440, claims that the plan would render the company’s land "unviable". Photo: Jesinta Burton

A draft development plan outlining the vision for the future of Subiaco’s “beating heart” has copped criticism from the site’s largest private landholder, which has accused it of trying to frustrate its development plans and wrestle back planning control from the state government.

Since December last year, the City of Subiaco has been formulating a draft Local Development Plan for the future development of the Seddon Street Precinct, an area bound by Roberts Road, Rokeby Road, Hay Street and Catherine Street.

Key stakeholders and surrounding residents had the opportunity to provide input into the plan, which envisages the precinct as an urban oasis with mixed land uses, well-connected access ways, setback controls, and retained protections for the precinct’s 'heritage buildings'.

But private property owner Sanur has filed a submission outlining its concerns with the proposal, labelling it contradictory and unworkable.

The company, which owns buildings 424-436 and 440 and has been progressing plans to develop the site into a commercial and retail precinct, claims that the plan would render the company’s land "unviable".

According to Sanur director Cara McIntyre, from the company's perspective, the plan called for the buildings to be demolished to make way for new vehicle and pedestrian laneways while also calling for their retention on the grounds that, having been constructed in 1912 and 1921, they held heritage value.

Ms McIntyre warned that the plan could put $250 million worth of capital investment, more than 2,000 jobs, and Subiaco’s future as a retail destination at risk.

She recommended that the city reject and abandon the proposal, or at least reduce its scope.

The city's acting chief executive officer Cliff Frewing said the city was disappointed with Sanur’s views given its involvement throughout 2020 in the process which helped to shape the plan.

The comments come just one week after the city council met to discuss the technical data from two independent structural engineering experts which indicated that buildings 424-436 and 440 were unstable and at risk of collapse.

Sanur was in the midst of progressing its plans when it raised concerns about the structural integrity of the buildings earlier this month.

Council documents later confirmed that the facades of both properties, which lean over Hay Street, were in an active state and continuing to move - with one engineering report going as far as to recommend their demolition as the appropriate course of action to eliminate the ongoing risks of collapse.

Officers at the city closed the section of Hay Street adjacent to the buildings and recommended a structural engineer with heritage experience be engaged to undertake a building assessment and prepare a report.

If no further alternatives to demolition could be identified, officers recommended that the council issue a building order to require demolition.

Councillors unanimously supported the move in the hope of preserving and stabilising the buildings.

More to come.

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