Town of Victoria Park plans for ‘caretaker’s cottage’ at Lathlain Park causing contention

Town of Victoria Park plans for ‘caretaker’s cottage’ at Lathlain Park causing contention

SOME residents are unhappy with the Town of Victoria Park’s plan to demolish and “reinterpret” a cottage as part of the Lathlain Park redevelopment.

The council ticked off on the Management Plan for the park and the Development Application (DA) for the West Coast Eagles’ administration, training and community facility during a special meeting on December 6.

The Management Plan will go to the WA Planning Commission and the DA will go to the Metropolitan Central Joint Development Assessment Panel.

Members used written submissions and public question time during the meeting to highlight their opposition to the plan to destroy the house, which is known as the caretaker’s cottage.

Lathlain resident Luana Lisandro said she was disappointed with the council’s decision to demolish the cottage.

“The cottage was built as part of the Victoria Park Station Estate by James Thomas Peet and it predates the Lathlain Oval grandstand,” she said.

“I believe it was one of the first houses built in the area.

“I think it could be repurposed as a community building, when you consider the population of the area will grow by 70,000 in 2050, we will need more places for community groups.

“From my point of view, the community aren’t against the West Coast Eagles being on the site.

“There is a level of disappointment and frustration that the community haven’t been accommodated.

“It feels like elements of the area’s history are slipping away piece by piece.”

Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the council would not reconsider demolishing the cottage.

“Even though Lathlain Park is listed in the Town’s Municipal Heritage Inventory (MHI), such a listing relates to its significance as a place for playing Australian rules football,” he said.

“There is no mention of the heritage significance of the cottage on the MHI.

“Also, the site is not listed on the Heritage Council of WA’s State Heritage Register.”

Mr Vaughan said “reinterpreting” the cottage provided the opportunity for the design to respect the meaning of the building to the area and the community.

“Interpretation could be through a number of ways, including but not limited to artwork, memorial plaques, or a more literal response of an outline of the building itself,” he said.

“The exact design of the interpretation is yet to be determined.

“It is worth noting that the final design would require the Town to work with artists etc. and the word ‘interpretation’ is a place holder for these works.”