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Final decision on Plumb's looming

Environmental Law students from Brisbane outside Plumb's Chambers last year on a heritage field trip to Warwick.
Environmental Law students from Brisbane outside Plumb's Chambers last year on a heritage field trip to Warwick.

DECISION day is looming for the controversial Plumb's Chambers site in Warwick, with an application to demolish the older of the two Fitzroy St buildings expected within weeks.

With the building standing in the way of a proposed expansion of Rose City Shoppingworld, centre owner the McConaghy Group - which also owns Plumb's and adjacent shops - has re-applied to demolish the older of the two Plumb's buildings, the timber one at 82 Fitzroy St, after losing a court case a year ago.

With both buildings state heritage-listed - despite the former Warwick Shire Council mistakenly leaving 82 off its own heritage register - the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will have the final say on the fate of the building, with claims it is one of the oldest shops in Queensland, if not the oldest.

Any approval to demolish 82 would be on the condition that the sandstone building next door at 84 Fitzroy St, next to the police station, be restored.

It would then sit alongside a new truck turning bay and access ramp into the Shoppingworld car park.

In a twist to the saga, Southern Downs councillors last week voted against a motion to correct the previous mistake and have 82 Fitzroy St council heritage-listed, opposed solely by Cr Jamie Mackenzie.

The move means no final court appeal will be possible if the state grants demolition.

"Both properties are on the State Register as they are possibly the oldest existing shops in Queensland" Cr Mackenzie said.

"Leaving Plumb's Chambers in its current dilapidated state shows little civic and corporate pride.

"I'd rather council and the developers spend funds fully restoring them rather than on expensive court cases nor on band-aid treatments."

Topics:  department of environment and heritage protection development plumb's chambers southern downs regional council



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