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Ballarat Railway Station redevelopment plans now on exhibition

Following the release of concept designs earlier this year for the Ballarat Railway Precinct redevelopment, developer Pellicano has now lodged plans for the adaptive re-use of the bluestone Goods Shed and development of a “hotel” on the site. In response to the concept designs, the National Trust submitted concerns about the quality and appropriateness of the hotel design, and potential impacts on the surrounding Lydiard Street North heritage area. We also submitted concerns regarding the proposed adaptive re-use of the Goods Shed as a convention centre with residential tenancies, which would result in the internal volume of the Goods Shed being lost. Click here to read our previous submission in full.

Public submissions in response to the plans are now open. Submissions close on Friday 28 July. Permit documentation will be available until this date on Heritage Victoria’s website.

It is important to note that the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria can only consider heritage impacts within the extent of the registered area, which is limited to the railway site. This prevents a consideration of impacts on the surrounding heritage precinct. This disconnect between the consideration of state and local heritage values remains one of the greatest deficiencies of the Heritage Act. The Executive Director is also unable to consider broader public transport and traffic issues, including any future plans for a bus interchange. Under Section 73 of the Act, the Executive Director must also consider “the extent to which the application, if refused, would affect the reasonable or economic use of the registered place or registered object.” Further information about Heritage Victoria’s permit decision policies can be found here


Momentum Builds Towards QVM Renewal

After months of speculation, Planning Minister Richard Wynne has announced the approval of planning controls in and around the Queen Victoria Market. One of the key announcements was the approval of a 125m height limit on the controversial “Munro Site” owned by the City of Melbourne, a compromise on the 200m being sought by Council, but still far in excess of the 30m height limit sought on this site by the National Trust at the Planning Panel back in May last year. While out of step with the low scale of the market, the 125m building will nevertheless provide a transition between the market site and the forest of towers growing on Elizabeth Street, including Vision Apartments at 500 Elizabeth Street (229m), and Victoria One at 452 Elizabeth Street (246m). The Minister has also stated that “Strict heritage controls protecting the market will be maintained, as will existing height controls over the market sheds and fresh food halls,” although we are yet to see the detail on the final planning controls. 

In the lead-up to this announcement, the City of Melbourne also released the updated Business Case informing the market redevelopment, as well as the new Retail strategy for the market, for the first time providing detail on the strategic justification for the changes being proposed under the market renewal project. Continue Reading →

Belvidere Hotel, Chalres Nettleton, 1864, SLV

National Trust monitors substantial expansions proposed for Victoria Parade in Fitzroy

The National Trust has been approached by concerned members of the local community regarding two major developments proposed within the South Fitzroy Heritage Overlay Area on Victoria Parade in Fitzroy. The first is a 11-storey tower proposed for St Vincent’s Private Hospital, which will include considerable impacts on two National Trust listed properties, Eastern Hill Hotel (pictured above) and Dodgshun House (pictured below). The second is a proposed expansion to the Australian Catholic University Melboure campus, including a 12-storey tower and invasive additions to the rear of the historic Mary Glowery building (formerly known as the Commonwealth Note and Stamp Department).  Continue Reading →

B7694 Shell House (1989) Photo by John Gollings (2016) 02

UPDATE: Harry Seidler’s ‘Shell House’ added to the Victorian Heritage Register

After considering Heritage Victoria’s recommendation, submissions received, and after conducting a hearing, the Heritage Council has determined that 1 Spring Street Melbourne, formerly known as Shell House, is of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria and warrants inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register. The National Trust appeared at the Heritage Council hearing back in March, strongly supporting Heritage Victoria’s recommendation that the place should be added to the register, as outlined in our submission linked here.  Continue Reading →


Early Works for Melbourne Metro Rail Project begin at St Kilda Road

UPDATE: Early works are now underway at St Kilda Road in preparation for the construction of Domain Station, one of five new station proposed as part of the the Melbourne Metro Rail project. Works have been approved by Heritage Victoria, and include the removal of 18 trees, temporary bluestone kerb and guttering removal, and the realignment of tram lines. Permit conditions require the preparation of a tree management plan, the replacement of the trees with super-advanced specimens, and the reinstatement of bluestone kerbing and guttering. To read a copy our submission to Heritage Victoria regarding this permit, please click here.

The National Trust has prepared a comprehensive policy statement on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project – St Kilda Road/Domain Precinct, based on a review of the Environmental Effects Statement and participation in the independent Inquiry, the advice of the Trust’s Significant Tree Expert Committee, and extensive consultation with the community and the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority. Continue Reading →

Younghusband by Impact Investment Group 2017 (Front)

Impact Investment Group’s plans for the Former Younghusband Wool Stores Complex in Kensington

In April, National Trust Advocacy Team attended community engagement workshops and walking tour of the former Younghusband Wool Stores Complex in Kensington with Impact Investment Group (IIG), the current owners of the site. IIG purchased the complex back in December 2016, following a failed bid by EG Fund Management in 2011 to undertake extensive demolition, facadism, and the development of a 12-storey residential tower which was strongly criticised by the National Trust and rejected by the City of Melbourne. Impact Investment Group are now proposing a ‘process of rejuvenation between now and 2020.’ The site is protected by a Heritage Overlay in the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme.  Continue Reading →

Elevated view towards along William Street towards Lonsdale Street Melbourne Vic (high-res)

City of Melbourne Heritage Policy Review

The City of Melbourne have progressed a much-needed Planning Scheme Amendment to review and update the heritage policies and gradings that guide the development of places protected under the Heritage Overlay within the municipality.
Continue Reading →

1. 310 St Kilda Road

State Government agrees to purchase Former Repatriation Clinic to house the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum

After a four year battle, the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum (ANVAM) have successfully lobbied the State Government to purchase the former Repatriation Commission Outpatient Clinic (310 St Kilda Road) from the Federal Government for use as a veterans art museum and centre dedicated to improving veteran health and wellbeing through art therapy. Continue Reading →


The Heritage Council grants Interim Protection Order for the Morwell Power Station & Briquette Factory

Following intense community pressure to assess the historical value of the Morwell Power Station and Briquette Factory (operational 1956-2014), the Heritage Council of Victoria have granted an interim protection order, halting any demolition works while Heritage Victoria conduct an assessment of the sites cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria. Continue Reading →