PERTH COLLEGE and heritage advocates are at loggerheads over the proposed demolition of four 1920s-era houses.
The exclusive girls’ school has lodged an application with Stirling city council to demolish the Lawley Crescent houses so it can build a multi-million dollar senior learning and leadership centre.
Mount Lawley Society patron Barrie Baker says the homes have heritage value and are within the suburb’s heritage protection zone.
“This Perth College proposal calls for complete demolition of the houses,” the MLS committee posted on Facebook.
“The proposed design makes no attempt to incorporate the character features of the houses, which are evident from the street.
“And, sadly, Perth College, in their community information marketing book, showed photos of their rubbish at the rear of these houses, rather than the streetscape views.”
College principal Jenny Ethell denies the photos were misleading.
“…the school believed the streetscape was clearly visible to the public (which has been confirmed by the photos posted by the Mount Lawley Society on its Facebook page),” she says.
“To provide a total picture of the properties (and their limitations for educational purposes), images showing the rear and side views were included as part of the booklet.
“The properties are zoned for educational purposes but do not meet the standards for universal access for people with disabilities, nor are they of the appropriate structural integrity to enable being included in a new development.”
Ms Ethell says the college tried, where possible, to re-purpose heritage buildings, and had previously refurbished two on Queens Crescent.
Mr Baker says four other heritage homes on Lawley Crescent were demolished in the 1970s, and these four properties owned by the college are pretty much “all that is left of the fine and gracious part of Lawley Crescent leading up from Beaufort Street to the curve down to First Avenue”.
The final decision rests not with the council, but with the local development assessment panel: most of its members are appointed by the government.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK