Battle goes on for No. 84

HISTORY: Passionate heritage advocate Greg Ziser wants to save number 82 to preserve the Plum Chambers.
HISTORY: Passionate heritage advocate Greg Ziser wants to save number 82 to preserve the Plum Chambers. Warwick Daily News

THEY tell a story about the early days of Warwick and now one of the Plumb's Chambers buildings will need to battle for its future.

The Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) will have the final say after one half of the Chambers was approved to be knocked down by State Government for an expansion of Rose City Shoppingworld.

Former National Trust of Queensland chairman and passionate heritage advocate Greg Ziser said he wanted to be involved in a community effort to save the building at 82 Fitzroy Street.

“They are a pair of buildings and to demolish one and leave the other would significantly devalue the heritage significance of the other,” Mr Ziser said.

He was present in the SDRC general meeting yesterday and was happy with the decision made for the councillors to meet with the developers, the McConaghy Group, which will take them through the building.

Mr Ziser wanted to let the community know that this was not a “forgone conclusion” and the SDRC inspection would allow it to make a more informed assessment.

“I own and have restored a house of similar age and building fabrication and I personally know that restoration is possible with dedication and commitment,” he said.

The developers have proposed to restore the sandstone building - number 84 - however, number 82 was neglected beyond repair.

Mayor Ron Bellingham said this was the classic case of demolition due to the buildings being neglected and the community needed to understand what could be achieved.

“The building on the western side is a win-win situation; it will be a great to see the plans on how it is developed,” Cr Bellingham said.

“The other battle I understand it is not economically possible to restore the building in its current form.”

The decision is not just in the hands of the SDRC as Cr Bellingham said the community needed to be a part of the outcome for the buildings.

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