Demolition stoush

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.

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• How Perth College presented properties it wants to demolish.

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“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.

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• And an alternative portrayal of the properties by the Mount Lawley Society.

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“…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

One response to “Demolition stoush

  1. The school is landlocked it has no other alternative to provide the facilities that parents demand if it is to safeguard its future for generations to come. The school is proud of its heritage and has preserved some beautiful buildings on its campus. These buildings that will be demolished were shown photographed from the street and ALL angles because it is impossible to incorporate them into the needs of the new building. For safety reasons it is important that the dining facilities for the boarding girls are moved over to be next to their buildings so the girls do not have to cross the road in open and plain site, and it is important that their study facilities are also on the same side of the road. I encourage everyone to look at these pictures walk past the houses in question and then ask yourself what heritage value they have.

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