Plumb's work for 'safety': Council

Details of safety work needed on the Plumb’s Chambers buildings are scant. The older building (at left) may be the oldest shop in Queensland, according to Canning Downs stud owner John Barnes.
Details of safety work needed on the Plumb’s Chambers buildings are scant. The older building (at left) may be the oldest shop in Queensland, according to Canning Downs stud owner John Barnes.


DEMOLITION of sections of the historic Plumb's Chambers buildings on Fitzroy Street remains on hold, despite closure of the footpath outside the premises sparking speculation the wrecker's ball is imminent.

A Southern Downs Regional Council spokeswoman said owners the McConaghy Group – which owns Rose City Shoppingworld – approached council last week about “remedial safety works” made necessary due to recent rain damage.

This follows the effective quashing in December by the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland of a legal bid to save the older of the two Plumb's buildings from demolition.

Canning Downs stud owner John Barnes launched an appeal last February after council and the State Government signed off on demolition of 82 Fitzroy Street, dating back to the 1860s, to make way for a future expansion of the Shoppingworld.

The council also approved demolition of the rear of the larger and slightly younger of the two Plumb's buildings at 84 Fitzroy Street, with this part of the plan still subject to the Barnes court appeal.

Rose City owners the McConaghy Group have committed publicly to preserving the front section of 84, although detail on what form its re-use would take has been scant and no formal approval of the Rose City centre's expansion has yet been given by the council.

The council admitted last year that 82 Fitzroy Street had been “inadvertently” left off its own local heritage list for Warwick, despite both of the Plumb's buildings being recognised on the State Heritage Register.

McConaghy Group spokesman Robert McConaghy yesterday declined to comment to the Daily News on the nature of the safety work needed, with the council spokeswoman saying they were seeking legal advice.

“Council has closed the footpath for pedestrian safety reasons,” she said.

“It is understood the owners are awaiting approval from the (Queensland) Environmental Protection Agency to carry out the works.

“The original approval (for demolition) is still subject to legal action by submitters.

“Preliminary hearings have been held and council is awaiting the next move from the courts and while this is in process, the original development may not proceed.”

An earlier application by the McConaghy Group for the Rose City Shoppingworld expansion was withdrawn pending the outcome of the Plumb's issue and no new application has yet to come to council.

However, in-principle approval has been given for an access ramp in the middle of Fitzroy Street into the Rose City underground car park, with Plumb's in the way of what would be a massive new truck turn-around zone.

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