Shire accused of ‘double standard’ in heritage fence dispute
1.2m green steel fence banned in central heritage area.
Two-metre green steel fence and limestone wall allowed in central heritage area.
A TOODYAY ratepayer claims the Shire of Toodyay has adopted a double standard by ordering him to dismantle a green 1.2-metre Colorbond fence on the side of his house in the town’s central heritage area.
Lawrence Tan says it cost him $1200 in wasted building materials.Read more
Mr Tan owns a Fiennes Street cottage on the shire’s municipal heritage list and was building a fence similar to others he had seen in the central heritage area.
His house is positioned side-on to Fiennes Street but he was told his fence faced the street and breached heritage rules because it didn’t use materials that “were in keeping” with the building’s age.
Banned materials included steel fencing and limestone walls.
“I thought it was very unfair when I saw what the shire allowed at the new Butterly Cottages (aged peoples’) units, which is also in the central heritage area,” Mr Tan said.
“It appears the council did not follow its own rules.
“How can they allow that but not mine – it’s a double standard.”
Shire President Brian Rayner said a high limestone retaining wall topped by a two-metre Colorbond fence around nine new Butterly Cottages units at the corner of Anzac Terrace and Rosedale Street were side fencing, which heritage rules allowed.
He said the project’s Stage Two – which has yet to be funded – would hide the limestone wall and fence from the street.
Shire Planning and Development Manager Graeme Bissett wrote to Mr Tan last month that the shire’s heritage policy “distinguishes between front, side and rear boundaries”.
“It does not contemplate multiple unit dwellings, so we had to interpret the policy based on the wording,” Mr Bissett said.
“All the buildings face an internal roadway and all the fencing is on rear and side boundaries.”