Towers for school site

HIGH-RISE towers would be allowed behind the old Perth Girls School in East Perth under development guidelines currently out for comment.

WA government-owned Development WA has been working with the site’s new owners on guidelines for a mixed use precinct with residential, retail, office, dining and community spaces. 

Development WA is the mega-planning body resulting from a merger between Landcorp and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and holds the powers of both.

The East Perth school building is heritage listed as a “particularly fine example” of the inter-war stripped classical style. 

The draft guidelines say the school building and model cottage “will be retained and adaptively reused with minimal external alterations”.

• Artists impression of how the Perth Girls School precinct could look.

New buildings won’t be allowed to block the view of the school from Wellington or Plain Streets, but towers up to 25 storeys high would be allowed at the back of the block.

An even higher “landmark tower” would “define the hilltop” at the corner of Bronte and Plain Streets. It has no height listed, but a 3D model of a 50-storey tower was deemed “overbearing”. 

Owners Australian Development Capital and Warburton Group like what they see. 

ADC director Rod Hamersley said the draft reflected the vision the companies shared with DevelopmentWA, the Heritage Council of WA, and Perth council.

Mr Hamersley said the plan responded to demand and “will deliver much needed amenity for residents in the area including a supermarket, bar and restaurant and creative office space”. 

About 300 people attended an open day on February 29.

Comment is open until April 8 via mra.wa.gov.au or at level 2, 40 The Esplanade.

by DAVID BELL

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