Windsor Cinema freed from heritage restraints

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Windsor Cinema owner Roger Hunt. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au
d495817a Windsor Cinema owner Roger Hunt. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au

AFTER decades of perseverance, Windsor Cinema owner Roger Hunt has successfully freed his iconic building from heritage restraints.

City of Nedlands councillors agreed to grant Mr Hunt a retrospective license for a Windsor Cinema roof sign he built almost 40 years ago at a council meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Hunt’s request for a retrospective license came after an unusual deed he made with the City in 2000 which effectively landed his site on a heritage list.

The 12 x 4m roof sign that has embellished the theatre since 1984 was first approved by the City in 1986, but the City later claimed it had increased in size and was non-compliant.

Mr Hunt said he and then Nedlands Mayor John Paterson entered a deed where the property would remain on the City of Nedlands Municipal Heritage Inventory list as long as Mr Hunt was able to keep the roof sign.

Mr Hunt asked the City to remove his property from the list in February so the listing would not affect the value of his site.

“It’s (Windsor Cinema) our superannuation fund and we have already decided who our beneficiaries will be and that’s our children – we would like to pass it on to them without any encumbrances,” Mr Hunt said.

Now that the deed is void, the Windsor Cinema will no longer be City heritage listed.

“All my hard work over many decades has come to fruition,” Mr Hunt told Western Suburbs Weekly after the meeting.

“As a private property owner we’re able to do what we like according to the regulations with our private property and not be stymied by heritage policy for a building that doesn’t really comply with the heritage situation.”

However, Mayor Max Hipkins, who is a member of the Council of the National Trust WA, voted against granting Mr Hunt the license on Tuesday.

Mr Hipkins advice on the issue was to “leave things alone”.

“This item for retrospective approval of the roof sign is unnecessary – the deed between city and owner gives the sign legitimacy as long as it stays on the heritage list,” he said.