Heritage sites go under hammer

The WA Deaf School’s site has been divided into three.
The WA Deaf School’s site has been divided into three.

‘The sale process will vary from one piece of land to another with some sites ready to go to market now, and others that will take more work to get ready for sale,’ Premier Colin Barnett said last week.

Shenton Park Hospital, Subiaco’s Princess Margaret Hospital and 1800sq m of office space at the Claremont Oval development are also under the hammer.

Last week, Cabinet created a Land Asset Advisory Group to provide advice on more sales across WA and the Department of Lands was told to audit all Government titles

The 1988sq m near the deaf school, which could fetch about $3000-$4000sq m, could provide about 1300sq m for houses at the west end of the 20,000sq m, which the Government has divided in to precincts comprising 7000sq m around the school, 5000sq m immediately west and 8000sq m along Warton Street on the southern border.

A Department of Lands spokeswoman said it would be investigated how the school’s heritage listing could affect ‘future uses’ of the remaining part of the 1988sq m.

Local Planning Scheme No.3 says the 20,000sq m needs a structure plan to produce an ‘innovative development’ after the special character of the site is considered.

However, a version of TPS3 that went out for public comment last year said the Government do not support the council’s two-storey limit on the 20,000sq m, before the restriction was removed from LPS3’s final version that became law in July.

Keep Cott Low founder John Hammond said LPS3 did not protect all the 20,000sq m, which was ‘up for grabs’, and ‘concerted community opposition’ was needed if the heritage of the school was to be saved.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said Mr Barnett risked depressing the market and not getting best prices, when $250 million would pay for about two months of interest on WA debt.