Engineers still designing

A BRACE to support the wall of the Plumb’s Chambers building next to Haig Avenue, off Fitzroy Street in Warwick, is still being designed by engineers engaged by Rose City Shoppingworld owners the McConaghy Group.

As reported on May 28, urgent safety work needed on the controversial site was approved by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) more than a fortnight before but had not commenced.

The two Plumb’s Chambers buildings, at 82 and 84 Fitzroy Street, are the subject of a legal battle over their partial demolition to allow expansion of the Shoppingworld, and have been cordoned off due to structural concerns.

Haig Avenue, between 84 Fitzroy Street and the police station and giving access to the Rose City underground car park, has been closed to traffic since April 21.

The Fitzroy Street footpath in front of the buildings has also been closed since that date, with safety concerns over the veranda of number 84.

Mayor Ron Bellingham said yesterday he had spoken with the McConaghy Group since our story on May 28 and had been given no timeframe for the start of the safety works.

But he said the veranda would be addressed first and the design of a special brace to stabilise the wall along Haig Avenue was continuing.

“Due to Haig Avenue being a council laneway our engineers will need to approve that design,” the mayor said.

“The process has generated significant paperwork.”

Concerns about public safety were raised in April by the Warwick Police and the council, with DERM required to approve even urgent work as the two buildings are state heritage-listed.

An approval to undertake low-level structural work was granted to the McConaghy Group on May 13.

Legal action to attempt to save all of 82 and the rear section of 84 Fitzroy Street from demolition was launched by Canning Downs stud owner and local heritage campaigner John Barnes last January.

The case is next listed for a hearing in July.

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