Subiaco: Residents reject Lawler Street heritage area plans

Lawler Street in Subiaco.
Lawler Street in Subiaco.

SUBIACO councillors have rejected plans to add part of Lawler Street to its existing eight heritage precincts.

The decision came after strong pushback from locals, some of whom spoke at this week’s council meeting.

Resident Anne Marshall said she was not persuaded the precinct would save the heritage character of the area, which was previously protected by the efforts of local homeowners.

“The fact is I approve of heritage and have spent money preserving the heritage features of my home,” she said.

“However, it’s my view that heritage listing will simply make my life more difficult.”

Will Pulsford said he originally supported the heritage area “as a tactic to frustrate the draft Local Planning Scheme (LPS)”, but it was now clear the area would not override the scheme.

“We are concerned that it will place additional restrictions on properties,” he said.

Mayor Penny Taylor said the council had updated figures that showed 22 residents were against the proposal and 18 were for.

Cr Julie Matheson moved the officer recommendation to designate the area heritage, seconded by Cr Stephanie Stroud.

She said there was nothing in the standing orders that meant she had to support it as the mover.

“The State Government has provided us with little or no tools to protect heritage, aside from onerous heritage areas,” she said.

Cr Stroud said it was a dangerous situation with the current draft LPS on the table.

“Subiaco residents really value heritage and character – if we vote this down, what message are we sending to the [WA Planning] Commission?” she said.

“Some confusing information has gone out there and understandably people have been mixed up.”

Cr Jodi Mansfield said the council was in a conflicted position, but had to balance it with what owners wanted.

“I can’t in good conscience impose something like this on these landowners,” she said.

Two heritage areas near Sadlier and Redfern Streets and Hamersley Road were approved in July after majority positive resident feedback.