GUILDFORD is a step closer to becoming heritage listed, but Heritage Minister David Templeman has warned the process to list the precinct could be “lengthy”.
City of Swan councillors supported a motion on Wednesday night to start the process of nominating the historic town to the WA Heritage Council for entry into the State Register of Heritage Places.
Guildford resident Claire Scanlan said she was pleased by the decision.
“The minister said if council wanted to push through this heritage listing they needed to show their support and engage with stakeholders before making a nomination to the WA Heritage Council,” she said.
“This is very exciting for Guildford residents and if all goes well we will be state heritage listed in a matter of months.
“Heritage listing will mean inappropriate developments such as McDonald’s will no longer be a threat to our town.”
However, Mr Templeman said the recent permanent registration of the West End in Fremantle to the heritage list took six years.
“The West End in Fremantle is the largest single precinct to be entered into the State Register to date,” he said.
“This process was thorough and took more than six years to complete.
“The process to list a precinct, particularly of Guildford’s size, will be lengthy and requires significant consultation with stakeholders including the local government, residents and business owners, to educate them on the benefits and effects of registration.
“It is really important that comprehensive community consultation occurs for this process.”
Mr Templeman said at this stage he could not put a timeline on how long the process would take.
“Midland MLA Michelle Roberts has made strong representations to me about this issue and I am keen to hear how the community feels about the idea of heritage listing the Guildford precinct,” he said.
“Once a nomination has been made, the Heritage Council will prepare a thorough Heritage Assessment and undertake further significant consultation before making a recommendation on whether the precinct should be entered into the State Register.”
Mr Templeman said listing the Guildford precinct would give it statutory protection and greater recognition for its significance to the State’s history.
“There is no doubt that Guildford is an historic-rich area,” he said.
“But strong support from the Guildford community is important in order to ultimately deliver an outstanding heritage outcome.” He was hopeful registration would enhance the precinct’s appeal as a tourism destination.