The Belmont Community Group (BCG) recently called for community feedback on the future of the old Bristile Kilns in Ascot. In an article featured in the Belmont Community News, local residents were asked if they would ‘wreck or rescue’ the old kilns.
The Belmont Community Group received dozens of responses to the article, with the overwhelming majority of respondents in favour of keeping the kilns and restoring them for use as a community asset.
Here are some of the responses received;
1. I would like to see the old kilns restored and formed into an ‘Outdoor museum’. This would en- able visitors to stop, take a self-directed tour via walk paths with history boards… WA has more than once regretted destroying its historic structures.
2. Perhaps it could be used for the farmers market everyone is so keen to have. Money from the market could go towards supporting care of the kilns.
3. I would like to see the kilns restored and the area turned in to a large park, with paths, bbq and a large kids playground. The park should have an area that explains the kiln’s history and shows photos of the past.
4. The beautiful curves and the strong red bricks echo our local past and should be kept as part of our community. It would be terrible to think that this site could be wholesale destroyed to make way for a soulless commercial block.
5. I would like to see the Old Kilns saved as I have lived in Belmont since I was a little girl and I al- ways remember them as being part of Belmont & Ascot Racecourse.
6. Although the site needs some attention (for example, perhaps rendering and painting each kiln in a natural colour that is pleasing to the eye), the structures represent the beginnings of many of the warm homes that were built from the bricks that were manufactured there in years gone by.
7. This site could be a place where classes of school children could visit to learn about the history of Perth, with a focus on Belmont and Ascot.
The Belmont Community Group wrote to Premier Colin Barnett, and the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Belmont in September, asking that funding be set aside in their budgets to restore the kilns and upgrade the site for use as a community asset.
The City of Belmont who have indicated in principle support for a restoration, responded to the BCG on 8th October 2014 and indicated that State Government funds would be needed to undertake such a significant restoration.
The Premier responded to the BCG on 23rd October 2014 stating that the Department of Planning is continuing to work towards a solution and that community consultation will be a key element in determining the future use of the site.
“The BCG looks forward to being involved in future discussions on the kilns site, on behalf of our members and supporters,” said Cassie Rowe.