Glitch dooms cottage

AN administrative error could see an East Fremantle cottage built in 1900 and once considered worthy of a “high level of protection” stripped of its heritage status and bowled over for apartments.

The property at 19 Canning Highway is owned by Main Roads, which wants it rezoned at a higher density so it can be sold off, with a slice taken off for the highway’s eventual widening.

The “asymmetrical single storey” cottage was considered to have a high level of authenticity when it was added to East Fremantle council’s municipal heritage inventory in 2006.

One of the last buildings left standing across the highway from Sunny’s Apartments, it’s already survived one demolition order. The administrative glitch could deliver the coup de grace.

A planning report to the council’s September meeting revealed that somehow the cottage got overlooked during a 2014/15 heritage review, meaning it got left off the list of properties given some protection under the town’s planning scheme.

“An updated place record form was not prepared, so it was not possible to determine whether the consultant intended to recommend removal from the heritage lists or to change the heritage category classification,” the report reads.

There’s no indication anyone from the council checked to see if the consultant still had any records; instead they recommended Main Roads and the WA Planning Commission’s interest in developing the site warranted removing any left-over listing.

That was backed 7 – 2 by the council, with only councillors Jenny Harrington and Cliff Collinson voting against the motion and asking for their names to be recorded.

The heritage-stripping has now gone out for public consultation; comments to https://www.eastfremantle.wa.gov. au/consultations and scroll to the bottom.

by STEVE GRANT

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