Not so grand designs

EVER since the state government handed approval powers to development assessment panels, architect and heritage expert Ian Molyneux says he’s been inundated by calls from people fighting huge developments popping up next door to them.

“This is happening all over the metro area,” he says, with some people claiming large towers are making their homes unsellable.

Given the mass of complaints he’s come out of retirement to join the Julie Matheson for WA Party — which wants to get rid of DAPs — and is running as their candidate for Perth.

It’s one of the areas that’s been most affected by the DAPs, which for better or worse (much worse in Mr Molyneux’s opinion) have ushered in taller and bulkier developments than the local councils would usually allow.

• Architect and heritage expert Ian Molyneux. Photo by David Bell

• Architect and heritage expert Ian Molyneux. Photo by David Bell

He says it’s a perfect electorate for him: as far back as 1991 he was developing plans for what would later be called Elizabeth Quay, and he has big visions for how to bring in more density without demolishing residential neighbourhoods.

He brought an armful of maps and plans to the Voice’s office, detailing his ideas for turning the Narrows interchange into prime density development, and telling us why he reckons the new museum will be an expensive disaster (too much light will damage the artefacts, he says, and it’d be better to put our cultural buildings in a ring around the river: if it was moved alongside the zoo in South Perth that’d get more people on our ferries and using the waterfront).

Having chaired the Heritage Council, worked as Fremantle council’s heritage architect, penned a comprehensive book on Perth architecture and consulted on various local and state government plans, he brings a bit of gravitas to a party that’s copped some flak over its unusual candidates in recent weeks.

by DAVID BELL

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