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Developers lodge permit with Heritage Victoria to convert Goods Shed and construct new hotel within Ballarat Railway Complex

The National Trust has objected to a heritage permit application for adaptive re-use and new works at the Ballarat Railway Complex. Overall, we do not believe the proposal achieves a balance between activation and conservation, or that the proposed use of the Goods Shed is appropriate given the heritage values of the place.

The National Trust took the opportunity to provide feedback on the concept plans for the Precinct Redevelopment in January of this year. At this time, we submitted that the proposed adaptive re-use of the Goods Shed would have unacceptable heritage impacts, and was not consistent with conservation policies for the site contained in the Conservation Management Plan. We also raised concerns regarding the visual impact of the hotel on the station complex and surrounding heritage places. Unfortunately many of these concerns do not appear to have been addressed in the permit documentation which has been provided to Heritage Victoria. Continue Reading →

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Glen Eira Heritage Policy Review & Post War Heritage

The National Trust congratulates the City of Glen Eira for progressing a much needed review of the municipality’s existing heritage overlay areas, heritage grading system and heritage planning policy. We acknowledge and support the purpose of this review to ‘update and refresh existing heritage policies and provide more detailed objectives, policies and performance measures that will benefit home owners, developers and planning staff’. As stated in the proposed Clause 21.10 Heritage: 

Glen Eira is currently experiencing a development boom, which means the pressure to demolish older buildings will increase. There is also pressure to adapt and develop heritage places to suit contemporary lifestyles. There is increasing concern that the City’s heritage is under serious threat. There is a need for clear design guidelines for new development both within and adjacent to heritage precincts

While the National Trust is supportive of the proposed changes, we do have some concerns regarding the updated heritage policy (Clause 21.01 Heritage Policy) relating specifically to demolition, facadism, significant vegetation and subdivision.

Continue Reading →

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Brighton’s iconic Dendy Street Beach threatened by overdevelopment

Brighton residents are fighting a proposal by Bayside City Council to replace the Surf Lifesaving Club on Dendy Street Beach with a new complex including a cafe and multi-purpose/training room which would be available for hire, and extensive landscaping works including a forecourt, rain garden and decking. The matter is now before VCAT, with a hearing scheduled for November 2017. For more information about the proposal and the VCAT hearing, including plans and background reports, click here. Continue Reading →

West Gate Tunnel Project

West Gate Tunnel Project

Last month the National Trust made a submission to the West Gate Tunnel Project Environmental Effects Statement (EES) released by the Western Distributor Authority, following a 6 week exhibition process from 29 May to 10 July 2017. The National Trust’s primary concern regarding this project is the impact to natural heritage due to widespread losses of healthy mature trees, long term impacts on native vegetation, particularly within the waterways and environs of Moonee Ponds Creek and Stony Creek and the visual impact on heritage places. Substantial green infrastructure is proposed to be removed across entire footprint of the project with an estimated 3,347 trees degraded or removed, including 2,954 medium to long term viability trees. Read our full submission here. Continue Reading →

Concept Design, Goods Shed Conversion, December 2016

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

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →