Guildford Hotel redevelopment rezone decision deferred

Activists’ reaction to the multi-storey development . Picture: Matt Jelonek d428815
Activists’ reaction to the multi-storey development . Picture: Matt Jelonek d428815

The future redevelopment of the Guildford Hotel is in jeopardy, according to its owners, after a decision to rezone land behind the building for a seven-storey apartment building was deferred.

The City of Swan opted at last week’s council meeting to hold a brief community consultation period regarding the development, which the hotel owners say is necessary to make refurbishment of the hotel financially viable.

The vote to rezone the site to allow multiple dwellings will reappear at the City’s December 17 meeting.

If approved, it will be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority for 30 days and then another 42 days for public submissions.

Hotel owner Luke Martino described the deferral as ‘disappointing’ when processes for community consultation were already in place.

‘I need to sit back with my funders and Dominic (Martino) and work out if we can afford to keep going with the uncertainty of this project,’ he said.

He said the vote was for a planning scheme amendment but debate at the meeting focused on the design of the apartment building. That was set aside by the City for debate at a later stage.

‘The final apartment design will be sympathetic to the Guildford Hotel,’ Mr Martino said.

‘I think people are getting ahead of themselves. It wasn’t about the design of the apartment; there’s a process.

‘The final design will be sympathetic to the Guildford Hotel ” we’ve said that all along.’

A spokeswoman for the Guildford Association said Guildford was a National Trust-listed town and the multi-storey development was at odds with the area’s character.

‘This development will destroy the heritage fabric of the town and devalue its status as a town of major historic importance in WA.’

Midland-Guildford ward councillor Mark Elliott said there was nothing to be lost in allowing a few weeks to facilitate better communication between the developer and community.

‘There was significant community consternation over a lack of detail and opportunity to appropriately assess what is effectively an unprecedented proposal for Guildford,’ he said.

‘This is a win for the Guildford community ” they get to have their say as to what their concerns and expectations are of this proposal, and get the chance to engage in a dialogue with the developers about these concerns.’