Advance Housing offers Norman House as a gift to the City of Albany and the Albany Historical Society

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Norman House as it is now, and how it has sat in the Albany landscape for more than 160 years.
Camera IconNorman House as it is now, and how it has sat in the Albany landscape for more than 160 years. Credit: Albany Advertiser

More than a year on from publicly proposing the demolition of Norman House as part of an ambitious plan to boost housing in central Albany, Advance Housing is offering to gift the building to the community

In an open letter published in Thursday’s Advertiser, the not-for-profit housing provider’s chair Peter Adams said the AHL board had listened to the community on its proposed demolition of the historic 1850s building.

“After careful consideration AHL’s board of directors have decided to gift Norman House to the people of Albany through the City of Albany and the Albany Historical Society,” he said.

“This decision enables AHL to focus on its core business and provides the citizens of Albany the opportunity to realise their ambitions and restore Norman House to its original structure so that, as one of the oldest buildings in Albany, it can occupy what many believe to be its rightful place adjacent to the Stirling Terrace precinct.”

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


AHL purchased the building in 2015 and initially planned to repurpose it as youth transitional housing, but that did not eventuate due to prohibitive costs and a lack of funding options.

In November 2022, AHL presented plans to build 25 new dwellings between Stirling Terrace and Frederick Street which included the demolition of Norman House.

A formal development application submitted in August last year included a heritage impact statement which indicated demolition of the building would have a “significant negative impact” but also that it had “been irreversibly altered over time”.

Sections of the community, including the Albany Historical Society, have campaigned for the proposed demolition to be rejected on the grounds that its has strong historical significance.

The building is included on the City of Albany’s heritage list as having considerable significance, but in response to a push to include it on the State’s heritage register the WA Heritage Council deemed it “does not warrant assessment” in November.

Earlier this month, the development application was due to be considered by a sitting of the Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel, but it was deferred to allow AHL to adjust its plans in accordance with changing planning requirements.

AHL built and operates student housing on the same lot as Norman House and plans to facilitate the lot’s subdivision to gift Norman House.

It still plans to progress the development of medium density housing on vacant land adjoining Frederick Street.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails