Saying neigh to Horseshoe hole

• One aspect of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s concept for the new Horseshoe plaza.

• One aspect of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s concept for the new Horseshoe plaza.

A NEW heritage lobby group “Save the Horseshoe” has sprung up to oppose plans to demolish some of its balustrading in order to allow pedestrians to move more freely between it and a new plaza and the station.

Local artist Andrew Nicholls started the Facebook group, which has prompted some confusion since the 110-year-old bridge isn’t actually being pulled down.

He says the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s plans to change it are a threat to its heritage.

“The designs revealed plans to knock through the central section of 110-year-old balustrading,” he says.

“This ‘adaptive reuse’ of the structure (to use their terminology) would destroy the uninterrupted horseshoe curve that has been an architectural icon of our city for over a century.”

He says he’s not anti-development and thinks the city link is a good project overall, but this aspect needs to be done more sensibly.

“I’ve always been really interested in the history of Perth. It’s changed a lot, but historically this city hasn’t been good at retaining our heritage or recording it.

“Given that we’ve got comparatively few heritage buildings left, I think they need to be thought about in a sensitive way.”

Matt Buckels, a councillor at neighbouring Vincent, posted on the Facebook page’s wall: “This is certifiably the most pointless cause ever.”

A dozen other commenters were similarly groaning at the group’s sentiment but most others agreed too much had already been demolished in Perth and the bridge needed saving. The page has 363 likes so far.

Mr Nicholls is urging people to write to the premier, heritage minister, lord mayor and the MRA chief Kieran Kinsella, asking him to reconsider.

by DAVID BELL

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