Bring back our balconies

ABOUT 60 years ago Perth council ordered verandahs on several grand old buildings be pulled down.

Traffic rules weren’t as codified back then and kerbs lower, so cars would occasionally clip the verandah poles and the city was worried they would collapse.

Perth councillor Reece Harley says he’ll introduce a policy to help owners reinstate their balconies if he’s re-elected on October 21.

• His Majesty’s Theatre (while not a privately-owned building) was one of many that had its balcony pulled down. Photo courtesy State Library of WA, image BA533/11

“Where, by council order, balconies have been removed, we should encourage owners to reinstate them,” he says.

“It improves the integrity of the building, restoring them back to their original design,” and he says the balconies were a big part of the heritage aesthetics of a lot of these old places.

The council’s heritage policy currently allows rates concession for similar restoration projects; Cr Harley says the balcony restorations could be implemented in a similar way or subsidised via heritage grants.

He says the first step is to consult with property owners.

by DAVID BELL

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