Rules to change

HISTORICALLY Vincent council has listed buildings on category B only when the owner agrees.

Mayor John Carey has flagged he wants to change the rules so council can unilaterally list commercial buildings (but not homes).

“The loss of key commercial buildings that have significant historical value can radically change a town centre’s feel,” he says.

“I don’t share the view of some other councils that if you want to protect a building you buy it.

“I think you do have a responsibility to protect heritage,” he said, referring to Perth lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s recent challenge to heritage protestors to buy the Michelides Tobacco Factory if they didn’t want to see it demolished.

While that change is still to come, on this occasion councillors chose to vary existing practise because of the age and history value of the Newcastle Street shops.

Cr Josh Topelberg said “this particular building, I actually find it extraordinary that it doesn’t qualify under category A [a more hefty protection]. This is a building that was built prior to the last century”.

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