STIRLING council is moving to tighten up heritage protection in Mount Lawley, Menora and Inglewood.
A review of the suburbs’ “character retention guidelines” and the city’s planning scheme found a loophole that could allow the demolition of old homes the city is trying to protect.
If an applicant could show a streetscape was no longer intact, they could successfully apply for a demolition, even if the house was in immaculate condition.
The council recently advertised its plans to amend the planning scheme to close the loophole, and found ratepayers had mixed feelings, with 58 per cent objecting, 37 per cent supporting and another 4 per cent having a useful suggestion.
Those in support didn’t have much to say, other than to ask for trees to be protected and for 1960s and 70s houses to be included for protection (no luck there).
But objectors threw all they had at the council, coming up with 25 reasons the amendment should be scrapped.
Mainly they complained there was already enough protection in place and any further curbs would limit people’s ability to develop and improve the area. But they were also upset about additional costs and delays, as the council wants all applicants to submit a demolition application before it will even consider what sort of building will go up instead.
The council says the delays and extra costs will be minor and are worth it because of the extra protection for streetscapes.
One punter had a go at the ubiquitous California bungalow, saying the style wasn’t worth preserving, particularly because it was poorly designed and environmentally unfriendly.