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Your views: on demolishing Port Adelaide's Shed 26

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Today, readers comment on Environment Minister David Speirs ordering the removal of Shed 26 from the state Heritage Register so a developer can demolish it for housing, despite initial plans showing its retention.

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Commenting on the story: “We feel conned”: Consultation designs showed Shed 26 intact.

I had heard that the original pitch to the Government from Cedar Woods showed images suggesting that Shed 26 was going to be retained and adapted as part of the scheme.

Now having just seen Cedar Wood’s marketing images in InDaily, I am even more disappointed with the Minister’s decision.

What a con job, and what fools the previous Government or Renewal SA were for not selling the site, (which they did for a consideration of just $2) on the proviso that the Shed 26 had to be retained and be adaptively re-used per the marketing images.

The structure will require the removal of the asbestos roof whether it is demolished or repurposed, yet the Property Council harp on about it being an asbestos-ridden building, clearly to suit their purpose, or that of Cedar Woods, which would appear to get the site off the government for a pittance on one pretence, and then renege.

No wonder people feel they’ve been misled and Port Adelaide sold down the river. Sandy Wilkinson

The Port Adelaide community deserve to hear what the test of public interest actually involves. The public interest from our perspective obviously is what is in the local community’s interest.

For too long our port had been overlooked as a place worth investing in, making modern, funky and cutting edge. How can it not be in the public interest to make this shed into a vibrant hub of activity like Plant 4 Bowden?

The Newport Quays showed that the tiny cheap housing development has low appeal. The values dropped immediately. A community cafe/pub/restaurant/venue/museum would ensure the other housing rises in value instead of what happened last time, and and we get to retain the most significant building on the inner Port Adelaide waterfront.

Knocking this down is a huge mistake and quite frankly an act of aggression to the locals who have waited patiently for progress.

I hope Cedar Woods reconsiders. And if they don’t I hope our people in the port are ready to take action. It’s what we do best. – Jules Bertossa

While the shed may currently be a bit of an ugly duckling, we only need to look across the border at what happens in Melbourne to know that with a bit of thought and a bit of creativity, there are a range of things that you could do to activate this space.

Why is it that in Melbourne they can manage to retain these sorts of spaces and make them in to something unique, with character and a sense of history, and yet we can’t?

If you want an example closer to home, have a look at Bowden and Plant 4.  Not quite the same sort of building but the concept sure is.  

And if the Government doesn’t want to pay for it for whatever reason, why not give the public – through donations, through money drives etc. – the opportunity to raise the money that’s needed to bring the place to life? 

That’s not to say the Government shouldn’t stump up funds for this. It definitely should. – Anthony Palmieri

How come heritage is held to ransom by developers these days, and unanimous heritage council recommendations are overturned by a lobbied-to minister, to the enormous detriment of our globally very young batch of heritage built environments.

Back in the 1970/80’s, we lead Australia in this field, our planning and heritage procedures, advisers and architects in councils, the Burra Charter etc – now anything goes and can’t be denied as it is spun as economically inevitable that ‘heritage’ must give way to greenfield site development, otherwise they’ll take their money and jobs and play/invest somewhere else. Good luck to ‘em! Boiling blood is an understatement.

Are we to be the generation that lets all this damage and destruction be wielded across the city, on the whim of a minister who has no formal training in this area? Why have a heritage council if decisions can just be up-ended when immense property investment pressure is simply exerted to clear out inconveniences?

Port Adelaide will now have nothing left, no reminder or memory of it’s status as a thriving port. It’ll all be clean, neat and tidy, so that’s the right thing, let alone the ecological benefit of working with existing fabrics. We’re all  collectively now crying in the wilderness here. – Michael Pilkington

Having emigrated here over 40 years ago I have witnessed South Australia demolish and clear away a vital part of the story.

We need to keep as much of our history as possible. We are a young country although we do have the oldest indigenous peoples. We need to celebrate both heritages and history and areas of Port Adelaide that have both need to protect it all. – Moyra Dinsmor

Where is the heritage left in the Port. Nothing new built has been designed to compliment the existing facades. The new government monstrosity next to the market is an eyesore.

Neither Libs or Labor gives a flying toss about the Port. Libs I can understand (no one votes Libs) but Labor in 40 years has done SFA for the Port. Or more to the point actively destroyed it with West Lakes.

What used to be a bustling Port now stands mostly empty. Peter Ede

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