Inner-city renewal is an important part of any community. However, are we in danger of destroying the character of the area in the name of progress?
Plenty of work has been done on creating options for building new houses but where is the protection for old houses?
The last heritage plan done in this area was 1997. There has been precious little work done on developing heritage locations and developing streetscapes since.
Does the community value the old architectural housing stock in West Leederville?
To date, the only two sites protected in West Leederville by the town planning scheme are the Holyrood Street streetscape and the primary school.
Not a single older house or 1900s streetscape has any form of protection.
The council recently created a housing option planning document that creates many new housing development options for developers and private builders in the Town of Cambridge.
However, only builders and developers were invited to comment. There is not a word in the document on heritage, sympathetic renovation or the preservation of valued architecture.
Unlike the residents of Subiaco, West Leederville residents were not asked if they valued the area’s heritage.
A key example of losing the old character in West Leederville is the pending redevelopment of a house and garden that has set the character tone since 1929.
Under present planning laws, it has no protection and will soon be three strata units.
The Town mayor has stated that the best way to keep value in your house is to make sure that it meets the market in the future.
Does this exclude the old federation architecture in the area?
Surely, a housing stock balanced with old and new is the best way to maintain the liveability and character of an area such as West Leederville.
If residents are keen to have a voice on this issue, then the Town advises that a petition needs to be signed to show that this lack of balance matters to residents.