ONE of the last Federation homes along East Fremantle’s riverfront is under threat.
The owners of 3 Riverside Road have lodged a demolition application with the East Fremantle council, even though the 1906 bungalow is in the highest category of the local municipal heritage inventory where it’s listed as being in “excellent” condition.
While all local councillors the Herald spoke to said they’d vote against demolition, the issue is likely to end up in the state administrative tribunal and there the building’s fate is uncertain.
As veteran East Freo councillor Cliff Collinson is well aware, the inventory doesn’t really have any statutory teeth, so the SAT may simply decide there’s nothing to stand in the way of demolition.
“Our planner said that he thinks we’ve got a good case,” Cr Collinson said.
When the Herald pointed out the planner hadn’t referred to it as a “watertight case” Cr Collinson’s brow furrowed a little deeper.
“No he didn’t,” he said, noting it could be quite a test case for the SAT and heritage.
Local resident Julia Marr was appalled to see the notice for the demolition and is hoping to whip up local support to oppose it.
“It’s a lovely old builing and we’re too quick to bowl them over in WA,” Ms Marr lamented.
She says future generations deserve to have the opportunity to see such heritage gems and will judge those with a wrecking ball poorly.
Cr Michael McPhail says he hasn’t noticed a groundswell of opposition yet, but says that may be because the application was advertised during Easter and people are still catching up.
“There should be an outcry,” he said.
Cr Collinson said the application brought up memories of the demolition of the building next door, which was carried out at midnight and caused him to burst into tears.
A state listing would give the building legal protection, and in its inventory, the council notes “having potential state heritage significance, informed consideration should be given to nomination for state register listing prior to or the time of consideration for further development.”
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by STEVE GRANT