Heritage Council requests info about Sun City precinct

The Heritage Council has requested more information from the 2006 heritage assessment of the Two Rocks town centre precinct. Picture: Anita McInnes

THE Heritage Council, which has committed to assess the Sun City precinct Two Rocks as a matter of priority, has written to the City of Wanneroo asking for any information it may have about the precinct.

A letter from Heritage Council chairman John Cowdell to City of Wanneroo chief executive officer Daniel Simms dated April 14 is included in the documents lodged with a Metro Outer joint development assessment panel (JDAP) agenda.

The JDAP is due to meet online at 1pm on Wednesday, May 4 to consider the $16 million Woolworths development application for a shop, liquor store, restaurant and office at 10 Enterprise Ave.

On March 9 the JDAP had deferred the development application so that the City of Wanneroo could seek clarification from DPLH in relation to heritage matters with the Two Rocks precinct recorded as to be assessed.

Then on April 12 a majority of Wanneroo councillors voted to recommend that the JDAP refuse the development application for a number of reasons including that the location of the proposal was not appropriate or compatible with the coastal marina environment and that the development should be located to the north-east within the future Two Rocks secondary centre as identified by the Yanchep – Two Rocks district structure plan No. 43 (DSP 43).

Mr Cowdell wrote that the Heritage Council assessment of the Sun City precinct would be undertaken by a team of heritage professionals who would establish the cultural significance of the place and evaluate its level of significance.

“The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) would appreciate any information you may have about Sun City precinct, Two Rocks as well as your views regarding its cultural heritage significance and possible registration,’’ he wrote.

Last year in December DPLH heritage assessment and registration director Penny O’Connor requested a copy of the December 2006 Two Rocks town centre precinct heritage assessment by Philip Griffiths with Kris Bizzaca from the City of Wanneroo saying it could provide valuable search material that would assist in accelerating the assessment of the wider Sun City precinct.

On April 4 Ms O’Connor sent an email, which noted that the application for the Woolworths development included a heritage impact assessment (HIA) which assessed the development against a statement of significance from the 2006 heritage assessment of Two Rocks town centre precinct.

“(But) while the HIA referred to the statement of significance in the heritage assessment, a full copy of the assessment was not attached,’ she wrote.

“The full assessment may assist the city and the public to understand the cultural heritage significance of the wider precinct, and the impact of the development on its values.

“The department does not have a copy of the full assessment.’’

A statement of significance by Griffiths Architects and a statement of significance – City of Wanneroo local heritage survey – are included in the current DJAP agenda

The Heritage Council has committed to assess the Sun City precinct Two Rocks as a matter of priority.

Some of the statement of significance comments about the heritage values of the Two Rocks town centre precinct include that the place is integral to the history of the development of Yanchep Sun City from the early 1970s, one of the most significant residential, commercial and recreational investment projects undertaken by a private owner/company in this post World War Two period.

“The limestone retaining walls and statue of King Neptune have acquired landmark status in a local context and the latter in terms of the region.

“The place has social and historical significance to the local community for its contribution to the understanding of the development of Two Rocks and Yanchep, and also for the central role it has and still plays in the everyday lives of residents.

“The place contributes to an understanding of the importance of Yanchep as a holiday and tourist destination in concert with the Yanchep caves and National Park, the beach and original shack and fishing settlements along the coast, the Two Rocks marina and town centre as well as Atlantis marine park (fmr), the first marine park and oceanarium to be established in Western Australia in 1981.

“Two Rocks Shopping Centre and Tavern was a noteworthy design in the context of the mid and late 1970s.

“The place has associations with former owner Alan Bond, the Japanese company Tokyu Corporation, which has owned and managed the Yanchep Sun City project for over 30 years, and Anthony Brand then of Forbes and Fitzhardinge, designer of the Two Rocks Shopping Centre and Tavern.”

The statement of significance – local heritage survey – from the City of Wanneroo includes comments such as: Place 42 Atlanntis Marine Park (site) – The place has historic value for its association with the development of Two Rocks as a tourist destination and residential subdivision.

“Place 43 – King Neptune Sculpture: The sculpture is a landmark in the community of Two Rocks since 1982.

“The sculpture has historic value for its association with the development of Two Rocks Marina and the Atlantis marine park.

“Place 44 – Two Rocks Shopping Centre: The place has aesthetic significance as a demonstration of the post war international/brutalist style expression in concrete block construction.

“The place has historic value for tis association with the development of the Two Rocks townsite in the 1970’s.

“Place 46 – Waughal Monoliths: The sculptures have aesthetic value as examples of a style of public art widely used in Perth during the 1970s.

“The sculptures have historic value for their association with the development of Two Rocks marina and townsite in the 1970s.

“Place 48 – Two rocks Limestone retaining wall: The structure is a landmark in the townsite as a dominant structure and for its bold construction form.

“The place has historic value for its association with the development of the area in the 1970s.’’

In conclusion the October 2012 Woolworths Two Rocks heritage impact statement (HIA) from Griffiths Architects says the area has been left vacant since the closure of Atlantis marine park in 1990 and its subsequent demolition.

“The new development is set back sufficiently that it does not directly visually sit against the Two Rocks Shopping development,’’ the HIA says.

“Linking development will occur between the two in the future.

“The materials palette of the new development is sympathetic to the existing shopping centre and existing landscape.

“The form and scale of the project is significantly larger than the existing shopping centre, but the facades are broken up with speciality shops and café to reduce the overall massing.

“The café facing the King Neptune statue ensures it retains its landmark qualities.

“Overall, the development will not negatively affect the heritage significant places within its surroundings.’’

Prior to the April 12 council meeting Michael Bower from Blueport Development Management emailed councillors and the city on behalf of Fini Group.

In his email Mr Bower said there was a clear intent by landowner Fini Group to develop a respectful and well-considered heritage strategy throughout the entire town centre.

“The pending assessment of the Sun City precinct by the Heritage Council of WA should not hold up consideration of any application within the town centre, including the Woolworths development,’’ he wrote.