Staff slap-down as hotel listing looms

PERTH’S planning committee has buckled after getting a slap-down from staff who want to heritage list the Grand Central Hotel.

The hotel is owned by lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi and her husband Joe, who’d tried to limit the listing to various parts of the building amid plans to refurbish it.

At September’s committee meeting councillors Judy McEvoy, Keith Yong and Jim Adamos deferred a decision on the listing, telling staff to negotiate further with Mr Scaffidi over his request.

Procedures

But the item came back to this week’s planning meeting without any further input from the developer, the staff report saying that would not be in keeping with “standard procedures”.

“This report requests council to initiate this process, following which, the city will formally consult with the owner, undertake any other consultation considered appropriate and consider any submissions received by the owner and occupier,” the report said. The hotel on Wellington Street, now rebranded the Akara, was an alcohol-free coffee palace built during the gold rush. It wasn’t deemed significant enough for state listing, but heritage staff at Perth council felt it was important to note locally.

by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM

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