Outrage over City’s lost heritage

From left: Mike Deephouse, Glenda O'Riley and Rose Hawke at the site where Gull Cottage once stood. Picture Marcus Whisson d424479
From left: Mike Deephouse, Glenda O'Riley and Rose Hawke at the site where Gull Cottage once stood. Picture Marcus Whisson d424479

Mike Deephouse said he was amazed the City of Stirling had allowed the landmark Gull Cottage in Trigg to be demolished.

‘It was such an icon of a building among all the modern buildings and I always thought it was heritage listed and heritage protected,’ he said.

Mr Deephouse said the City needed to review the system it was using, allowing a 19th century cottage to be destroyed.

‘Unless the City starts thinking a little bit more to the future, we’re going to see this problem occur again and again because they don’t have a system for protecting buildings away from personalities,’ he said.

‘You could have a new council or new people in the council that don’t understand the history and don’t understand anything and it could all get wiped out in one meeting.

‘Something is failing for that to have happened.’

Heritage Council of WA executive director Graeme Gammie confirmed the site had been recorded and earmarked for its historical value by the City of Stirling, but the Heritage Council had no control over a decision to have it removed.

‘The Heritage Act requires the Heritage Council to be informed of any changes to the municipal inventory, however, the council does not exercise any control over local heritage matters,’ Mr Gammie said.

City of Stirling Manager of City Planning Fraser Henderson said the building had been added to the municipal inventory in 1997 after a City assessment of its historic worth.

But he said it was within the City’s power to overturn the decision.

‘Gull Cottage is not included in the adopted Municipal Inventory and did not meet the threshold for inclusion in the City’s 2005 Heritage List. Demolition of the cottage was therefore not prohibited,’ Mr Henderson said.

Mr Deephouse said the State Government should consider taking more control over heritage structures in Perth if local governments continued to approve their demolition.

‘I think the State should look at some of the more iconic buildings in the City of Stirling and if the City of Stirling isn’t able to manage those buildings then maybe they should put them on the State register.’