FOUR years after a report into the prospects of the historic Maylands Brickworks was released, the City of Bayswater has confirmed it is in discussions with the State Heritage Office about the future use of the site.
The City-owned and managed brickworks, which include one of only a handful of remaining Hoffman kilns in Australia, remain vacant and behind closed gates on Maylands peninsula.
Mayor Barry McKenna said the City was in discussions with the State Heritage Office about a feasibility study into the site.
“The feasibility study would explore options into the conservation and potential future use of the site,” he said.
Cr McKenna said the City had carried out about $150,000 worth of repair and maintenance works at Maylands Brickworks in the past three years, including to the gatehouse, change room, kiln, drying shed, pug mill, workshop and fencing.
The 2013 Maylands Brickworks Conservation Management Plan sets out that the site could have a range of uses, including commercial, recreational, residential and hospitality.
“The kiln, particularly, is a unique building, with an unusual and distinctive exterior, and dramatic interior tunnel,” the report states.
“The building has the potential to be redeveloped into an unusual and exciting place.
“The drying shed, pug mill, and workshop have potential to interpret the site’s former uses.”
The management plan, created by Palassis Architects, includes examples where older buildings have been adapted for reuse.
In Melbourne, former brickworks the Brunswick Kilns were turned into residential lots, including townhouses and multi-density apartments, and Brisbane’s Superwhatnot Bar was previously a loading dock.
Maylands Brickworks is a place of cultural heritage significance, according to the State Register of Heritage Places and National Trust and shows the working conditions of the brick making industry from 1927 to 1983.
Maylands Historical and Peninsula Association secretary Roger Tomlins said the site was the last remnant of the historic semi-industrial industry in Maylands.
“There has been hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on it just to make it safe,” he said.
“It’s a problem, it has become an icon. People use it for photographs… it’s a paradox of being a millstone around our neck plus being some sort of iconic thing that represents what Maylands used to be.”
Mr Tomlins said Dome managing director Nigel Oakey previously considered the site.
Mr Oakey is redeveloping the 124-year-old Katanning flour mill to a Dome cafe and inn.