THE demolition of two old buildings on King William Street was refused by Bayswater council on November 5.
Yolk Property wanted to work with a clean slate at 9 and 11 King William Street, but Bayswater council staff listed four reasons why they thought councillors should refuse the demolition:
• It would have an “undue impact on the amenity of the area”, leading to a “loss of a continuous streetscape, social and historic values and traditional character of the Bayswater town centre”;
• The demolition would remove the “heritage contribution” of the two buildings;
• It was “inconsistent with the orderly and proper planning of the locality,” noting they don’t really want a vacant lot in the strip; and,
• Yolk hadn’t demonstrated that the buildings would prohibit them from building on the rest of the block (the city’s heritage policy allows demolition of lower-priority old buildings if there’s no other way to develop the site, but there’s 578sqm behind these two).
Councillors debated a bit over which of the four reasons they thought were valid, and some voted for different combinations of the four, but ultimately returned a refusal.
Nine people gave deputations against the demolition, including Angie Maher of community group “Respect Bayswater’s Heritage Heart” and Lynn Deering, president of the Bayswater Historical Society.
One of the buildings is a hodge podge of later additions. The council resolved to tell Yolk that demolition of the later, non-heritage parts would be considered in any new development application, and Yolk was “encouraged” to look into a new design that would conserve and incorporate the old parts.
The Voice contacted Yolk, which said it would consider its next move over the next couple of days.
The area will soon be under control of the state government, which is taking over planning authority to “maximise development opportunities” during the Metronet-inspired Bayswater train station upgrade.
by DAVID BELL