Fierce debate

THE streamlined rules follow a fierce neighbourhood dispute around a patch of Mount Hawthorn being declared a character retention area.

March’s council meeting was peppered with comments from those for and against. Those in favour wanted to keep the area’s interwar houses, those against said they shouldn’t be prevented from developing their properties by a minority of history fans. 

“How dare the council even consider this ridiculous change,” Mount Hawthorn resident Robert Gemelli said in March. “It surely cannot be legal to have different rules for different streets. My home is my home and when I want to develop it, I should be allowed to build my dream home within normal rules as is now.”

A resident in favour of character retention said: “I live next door to an ugly modern house that was built in 2012-2013, despite the objections of many residents who were relying on the council to ensure that street character was retained. I therefore hope that this new policy will prevent this from happening again.”

From an initial plan to cover a wide area of Kalgoorlie Street, Buxton Street, The Boulevarde and Matlock Street, councillors eventually settled on adding just a segment of the latter two. 

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