News

Historic building to be destroyed

Plumb’s Chambers, 82 Fitzroy Street, Warwick.
Plumb’s Chambers, 82 Fitzroy Street, Warwick.

IN what seems likely to sound the final death knell for one of Warwick's oldest buildings, the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland yesterday quashed a legal bid to save the older of the two Plumb's Chambers buildings on Fitzroy Street.

Canning Downs stud owner John Barnes and architect Geoff Cook launched their court appeal in February after the Southern Downs Regional Council and the State Government signed off on the demolition of 82 Fitzroy Street, which dates back to the 1860s.

The council also approved demolition of the rear of the slightly younger of the two Plumb's buildings at 84 Fitzroy Street, to help make way for a planned expansion of Rose City Shoppingworld.

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 centre's expansion has yet been given by Council.

The Council admitted in February 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.

While a technicality under Queensland's planning laws, the error was enough for the court to yesterday decide it was unable to consider the demolition of 82 as part of the Barnes-Cook case.

The ruling effectively ushers in the wrecking crews, with Plumb's Chambers' future a controversial and at times sore point locally.

A disappointed Mr Barnes yesterday told the Daily News his own research since lodging the appeal had turned up evidence that 82 Fitzroy Street may be the oldest shop in Queensland, with Warwick the first free settlement.

“This has to be confirmed, but it is clear that the bricks used for the older of the two Plumb's Chambers buildings – which dates to around 1860 – came from the same brick-pit as those in the Canning Downs stables, built in 1859,” Mr Barnes said.

“The brick walls (of 82 Fitzroy Street) are actually in good condition, and it will be a sacrilege if this building is destroyed for a (truck) driveway.

“We have successfully restored similar structures at Canning Downs that were in far worse condition, and there are plenty of examples of buildings like this being kept as part of shopping centres in other States.

“The internal fit-out can also be made to bevery modern.

“The main message is that if anyone can find an older shop than this one in Queensland I would love to hear from them.”

Mr Barnes said the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which administers the State Heritage Register, had not inspected the Plumb's buildings since the McConaghy Group lodged its demolition plans with Council.

He said the EPA had been “fooled by a two-card trick” by the McConaghy Group to offer restoration of the front of 84 Fitzroy Street as a compromise to advance the Rose City expansion.

An earlier application by the Group for the 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 by Council 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 truckturn-around zone.

Mr Barnes' co-appellant, architect Geoff Cook – who divides his time between Brisbane and Warwick – said the remaining section of the appeal against the demolition of the rear of 84 Fitzroy Street, allowed by the court, would continue.

But he said the expansion and the Plumb's demolition should have been considered together by Council, instead of in “piecemeal” fashion.

McConaghy Group owner Robert McConaghy said yesterday the Planning and Environment Court's decision “appears to uphold the validity of the Council and (State Government) processes, to which we paid due regard”.

Plumb's facts...

Plumb's Chambers...is important in illustrating the transformation of Warwick in the late 1860s and 1870s from a squatters' town to the centre of Queensland's most prosperous agricultural district.

The c1860s brick building may represent the start of this movement; the 1874-75 building is indicative of Warwick's first building boom

Both buildings are important in illustrating the design, materials and construction techniques of mid-19th century masonry building in Queensland and have potential to reveal further information about

19th century stone and brick construction.

Both buildings occupy a prominent role in the streetscape along Fitzroy Street, and the pitch of the roofs contribute to the unity of the street.

(Source – Queensland Heritage Register)



Ain’t no mountain high enough

GOING on a hike is one of the best ways to get active and outdoors and the big smoke Brisbane is dishing up the goods.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

A whisky-lover's blueprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

Watch these guys while you enjoy the magical sunset of an evening.

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway.

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Best little town for greyhounds

EVEN START: The dogs are away in race one at Bundaberg Greyhound track.

Southern Downs track to be considered in plan to revive industry

SDRC to revisit Dalveen camp fee

Southern Downs Regional Council will consider introducing a camping fee of $10 a camper a night at Dalveen's Jim Mitchell Park.

Council to table paid camping tomorrow

Training for troubled times

PRACTICE CONDITIONS: Auxiliary firefighter new recruits (from left) Melinda Sharpe, Michael Stefanon and Mark Wallis performing a dash roll.

Auxiliary fire fighters train in road crash rescue

Local Partners

Big Brother winner Reggie Bird could end up homeless

BACK in 2003 she won the third season of Big Brother Australia, pocketing $250,000 for her win — but Reggie Bird’s life has been far from easy since then.

MasterChef: Fish fry feast too much for Ipswich cook

Willowbank native Nicole Stevenson has been eliminated from MasterChef.

NICOLE Stevenson narrowly misses out on MasterChef's Top 10.

Schapelle Corby's Bali boyfriend 'lonely' now she's free

“I really hope we can see each other again in the future."

‘One of the most ludicrous films ever made’

Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Last Knight.

Transformers: The Last Knight has been shredded by critics.

How 9/11 helped make Waleed Aly a household name

Waleed Aly and Susan Carland at the 2016 Logie Awards

“It feels like there was a script written for me,” he said.

Pixar weighs in on viral Toy Story theory

Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

DID Andy’s dad tragically die just before the story took place?

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

Gateway opens to $3b Coast mega estate

VISION: An artist's impression of the Palmview development 'Harmony' and its linear park.

New road provides link from the past to the future

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland

German supermarket giant Kaufland is understood to have approached southeast Queensland councils about a possible distribution centre, which would kickstart the establishment of new supermarkets.

Supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on Queensland.

Confident first half year for commercial property

SIGNS OF CONFIDENCE: A mixed-use site at 139 Eumundi Rd, Noosaville, was one of the outstanding results achieved in the year.

Sunshine Coast market showing strong signs for next five years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!