A last-minute appeal to council to sell the troubled Wayzgoose building in Leura, rather than redevelop it, was lost at council’s meeting last week.
New Liberal Cr Kevin Schreiber, argued that the money gained from selling the building could be put to good use.
“If the property was sold, we would have that money available to council that we need for upgrading …and maintenance of other properties,” Cr Schreiber said.
He said the future buyer would then have the dealings with the current tenant and would save council the cost of going through potential court proceedings.
Cr Schreiber argued at a cost of more than $1 million to do up the building, it would take more than 10 years full occupancy to repay the debt.
But his pleas fell on deaf ears with council ultimately voting to put in a development application (DA).
“We have to work the DA out and get it through so it defines the fullness of the work involved,” Cr Don McGregor told the meeting.
He later described the Wayzgoose buildingas “the worst building in the best street”.
“We have an obligation to the ratepayers of ourcity to get the best out of this development as we can.”
Cr Brent Hoare took offence atCr McGregor’s description.
“There is a huge level of community support for heritage buildings,” he said. “I’m a bit affronted by the ‘worst building in the best street’.We should do the best thing by the building and the people that care for it.”
Cr Daniel Myles said the council should have never owned a 100-year-old building.
“We should be looking after non-commercial properties,” he said.
Cr Chris Van der Kley said he had organised for the heritage committee to have a look at the property and get a briefing from staff.
A DAwill nowbe lodgedfor alterations and additionsthat retain the primary pre-1935 heritage features of the building. A report on the financial feasibility of redeveloping the property will also be received and a heritage architects and consultantsreport on the heritage impact will be released on the council’s website.
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