Bassendean councillors rescind approval for Surrey St museum project

Bassendean councillors rescind approval for Surrey St museum project

BASSENDEAN council voted to rescind an approved design plan for its Surrey Street museum project after a resident called for a refined plan with more activity space and a coffee shop.

In 2015, council endorsed option 2C, a modernised design that has been approved by the Town, the Heritage Council of Western Australia’s State Heritage Office, Museums Australia, National Trust of WA, Royal WA Historical Society and Bassendean Historical Society.

However, at the April 26 council meeting Bassendean resident Val Humphrey made a deputation urging urging council to revert to option one that had more space for user groups.

Option one included retaining a building built in the late 1950’s and replace the concrete roof with a new colourbond/translucent roof.

Option 2C involved demolishing the late 1950’s building to build a community centre in light concerns over ageing structure of the building that was stated in a structural engineering report.

Both options retained the 1893 building at the front of the site.

Council decided to rescind the 2015 motion and resubmit Lotterywest’s $375,000 Conserving Cultural Heritage grant application pending completion of a new plan prepared by SIA Architects subject to conditions.

The conditions included original artifacts, a management plan, storage space, a shared meeting and activity space and for building plans to be made available on the Town’s website and at a public meeting prior to construction.

Councillor Paul Bridges said option 1 was about $50,293 cheaper than option 2C and required an employee one day a week compared to a full-time employee.

Ms Humphrey said the absence of personnel at the entry of the museum needed to be addressed.

“The business plan has a shed at the back for groups but it looks like it is going to be a collection store,” she said.

“People like museums in the country but they will only go once unless there is something lively on the street.”

According to an officer’s report, the project’s architects, SIA Architects preferred option 2 because the extra meeting space cost more than verandah space, more underpinning required if existing structure was retained and option 2’s toilets had large wheelchair access.

The report said council would need to allocate new funds to re-commence the detailed design process as the Lotterywest funding was likely to be lost.