THE planned November opening of the Guildford Hotel is now in jeopardy after a 25m apartment block intended to fund its complete restoration was restricted to just two storeys.
Last night, City of Swan council voted on a scheme amendment to allow for apartments at the rear of the hotel — provided they did not exceed Guildford’s two-storey height limit.
Guildford Hotel co-owner Luke Martino said anything less than 25m would not adequately fund the project.
“The next step for us is to consider whether we can expedite this and get a better decision from State Government, if we can’t, then we will need to make a decision about the future of the hotel,” he said.
“No one’s trying to make super profits out of it; we’re trying to make sure we get the funds for what is going to be a $6 million plus construction.
“I’m disappointed and I think Dom (brother) and I have a serious decision to make.”
The City of Swan vote is just a recommendation and the final decision now lies with the WA Planning Commission and Planning Minister John Day.
This means the push for the 25m apartment block is not over.
But the recommendation from the City of Swan was still a win for the 100 Guildford residents in attendance who erupted into applause when the council voted for the height limit.
Guildford Association president Peter Stephenson said the City of Swan recommendation was “the best outcome we could have expected”.
The association has strongly opposed any threat to the heritage fabric of Guildford.
“This decision is not the end of the war for us though – there is still a decision before the Planning Minister,” he said.
A City of Swan planning report had recommended councillors vote for the 25m apartment block on the grounds that any impacts the height of the development would have on the community would be outweighed by the impact of the hotel not being built.
But 12 out of 15 councillors agreed with Midland Ward councillor Mark Elliott’s motion to cap the development at two storeys.
“My motion – which passed 12 votes to three – is an outstanding win for the Guildford community,” he said.
“It is a resounding defence of the Guildford Conservation Policy, which was designed to protect what makes the locality of Guildford special.”