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82 Fitzroy going down

THE Southern Downs Regional Council will ignore the advice of its own consultants and continue to leave one half of the controversial Plumbs Chambers site off its new heritage register.

As reported late last year, major flaws were found in the proposed register to be included as part of a new planning scheme for the region due to take effect this year.

Errors found included buildings being listed which are no longer in existence and consultants Mark Baker Town Planning were required to review a large number of proposed listings.

But an earlier error from the original heritage list - the omission of the older Plumbs building at 82 Fitzroy St - will not be corrected on the new list despite a recommendation from the consultants.

Mayor Ron Bellingham yesterday conceded the council could list the building but said it would achieve little as the Queensland Heritage Council had already approved its demolition.

The building stands in the way of an expansion of Rose City Shoppingworld, with its neighbour at 84 Fitzroy St to be re-built and incorporated into the expansion.

A report from planning officers to last week's round of council committee meetings states that to include number 82 on the register would require owner the McConaghy Group to advertise the plan, on which the public could make submissions.

The report leaves the door open for "future amendment" of the register to include the building, but Cr Bellingham yesterday all but knocked on the head any such move.

"The outcome we have achieved with the restoration of 84 is the best that could have been expected, given the state of 82," he said.

"That building would effectively have to be completely re-built and the reality is the Queensland Heritage Council has accepted it is too far gone for that to happen."

The mayor said he had spoken to the McConaghy Group in "relatively recent times" and while no application for expansion of the shoppingworld has come to council, he said he believed this would happen some time this year.

Topics:  heritage, plumbs chambers, southern downs regional council


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