Mr Howlett’s suggestion which won eight votes to two, went against a City officer’s recommendation that the council grant planning approval for the demolition of the Edeline Street property.
The officer concluded, after considering a report by heritage architect Ronald Bodycoat and a review of that assessment by Palassis Architects, that retention of the dwelling was impractical given its redevelopment potential.
It is believed there are plans by Red Beetle Investments to redevelop the site, first bought by former mayor Angus McLeod in 1912, with multi-storey apartments.
The move has faced stiff resistance from those keen to see the category C heritage item survive, with a petition of more than 200 signatures presented to the council in July and a further 110 added to that last Thursday.
Mr Howlett said the home added significant value and character to the area. That was seconded by deputy mayor Kevin Allen who said the City should do all it could to preserve the building.
Petition organiser Lyndsey Wetton, a council candidate in Saturday’s local government elections, said she expected the owner to appeal against the decision at the State Administrative Tribunal but hoped a compromise that would allow development while preserving the home could be reached.
‘There is so little physical heritage left in Cockburn and we need to remember that once it has gone, it’s gone forever,’ she said.
‘This house remains a functional family home with great potential for magnificent restoration.’