PLANNING minister Rita Saffioti has blanked the Mt Lawley Society after they wrote to her to preserve Beaufort Street’s historic streetscape.
The state government is currently evaluating a set of new planning rules for the Walcott-Salisbury Street stretch of Beaufort, submitted by Stirling council after an exhaustive and award-winning consultation process.
Nearly three months ago the society penned a letter to Ms Saffioti asking her to ignore changes made to the plan by the WA planning Commission — but she hasn’t replied.
Society president Paul Collins says the delays are “frustrating”, and is “putting character heritage buildings on Beaufort Street at risk of degradation while we’re in this waiting period. And if the minister adopts the recommendations of the WAPC, it will be an even worse outcome than what we currently have now.”
Whilst happy with most WAPC changes, the society balked at the removal of a rule forcing new developments to be sympathetic with one of four architectural styles, like Art Deco, which give Beaufort its unique flavour.
It also specified that any redevelopment along the three kilometre stretch be at least two storeys, infuriating Mr Collins, who called it “draconian” and so prescriptive you’d expect it came from the Moscow or Beijing planning commission.
Other changes include a maximum height of five storeys around the old state heritage-listed Inglewood Police Station and Quarters, which the Society says will dwarf the old building. The Society is also concerned about maintaining view corridors around St Patrick’s Anglican Church.
Come June 15 it will be three months since they met Mt Lawley MP Simon Millman and Maylands MP Lisa Baker at state parliament to hand over a letter to Ms Saffioti outlining their worries and requesting a face-to-face meeting.
The Voice contacted Ms Saffioti’s office but we didn’t hear back.
by DAVID BELL