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Burnham Beeches development history

The recent history of Burnham Beeches has seen up to eight different owners and operators, each proposing development plans with varying degrees of changes and interventions to the 22.5 hectare property and its significant Art Deco residence, known as the Norris Building. None of these development plans have been seen through to fruition, with the exception of the Forest and Garden Wing extension made to the Norris building in the early 1980s, an extension in the Art Deco style undertaken prior to the current heritage planning controls on the site. The lack of significant conservation works to the Norris Building and activation of the site more broadly has seen the property largely unoccupied for the last 25 years. The National Trust along with our Dandenong Ranges Branch have been involved in the planning processes of numerous applications over the last 15 years. Throughout these applications we have strongly supported the ongoing adaptive re-use and activation of the site necessary to protect this place for future generations. Given that the latest plans for the site by the current owners are about to be considered by the Yarra Ranges Shire Council, we thought it was worth taking a close look at our archival files on the property, and considering this permit in the context of the site’s development history.

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On the Yarra Melbourne JH Harvey 1875 SLV

City of Melbourne gives green light to Southbank and Fishermans Bend heritage amendment

On Tuesday 19 September, the City of Melbourne was given the green light to progress the much awaited Southbank and Fishermans Bend Heritage Review to the next stage. The study was considered at Council’s Future Melbourne Committee, with Team Doyle – Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood, Cr Susan Riley, Cr Nicholas Reece, and Cr Tessa Sullivan – each declaring an indirect conflict of interest relating to campaign donations. Due to these declarations, a quorum was lost, and the resolutions were determined under delegation.  Continue Reading →

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UPDATE: West Gate Tunnel Project

13th September 2017

Yesterday the National Trust made a submission at the independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) hearing, which is considering the Environmental Effects Statement (EES), and public submissions, in relation to the proposed West Gate Tunnel Project. As documented on our blog here, our original submission to the EES raised concerns regarding 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 various heritage places throughout the project. Our submission to the public hearing yesterday highlighted further serious concerns, including the extent of engagement with Traditional Owner Groups, the substantial green infrastructure that is proposed to be removed across the entire footprint of the project, and the proposed twin elevated road structures above Footscray Road.

To read our submission in full, click here.  Continue Reading →

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UPDATED: Advocacy Position Statement regarding City of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market Renewal Plans

12 September 2017

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) today issued a detailed Position Statement on the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project. This Statement has been endorsed by the Trust’s Board. CEO Simon Ambrose stated that the NTAV continues to engage constructively with the QVM Renewal process and welcomes the opportunity which the project provides for the refurbishment of a heritage site which is of National importance. While acknowledging this positive aspect of the project, the Trust continues to have concerns about aspects of the redevelopment, and envisages continuing detailed discussion with the City of Melbourne and QVM Renewal Team, as well as the provision of detailed feedback on future permit applications. Issues that the Trust believes still need to be resolved include (but are not limited to): Continue Reading →

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Citizen Heritage: Fishermans Bend Workshop

Please join us!

Citizen Heritage: Fishermans Bend Workshop 
9:30am-3:30 pm 
Sunday 17th September 
Portable Iron Houses.

Fishermans Bend traces the industrial and historical growth of Melbourne across the last 150 years. Originally swampland, the area skirted the shantytowns of Gold Rush-era Melbourne’s population boom and been at the heart of the growth of industry over the last century, since the establishment of the GMH factory prior to World War II. In the postwar era, Fishermans Bend became a major employment and accommodation hub for migrants and represented one of the most significant threads of the rich multicultural history of Melbourne. Today, Fisherman’s bend is set to become Australia’s largest urban development project and its heritage and historical stories are in danger of being lost to rapid development.  

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Fitzroy, View of Victoria Parade, F. Oswald Barnett, 1935, SLV (cropped)

UPDATE: Former Commonwealth Note and Stamp Printing Department in Fitzroy added to Victorian Heritage Register

The inclusion of the Former Commonwealth Note and Stamp Printing building (located at 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy) comes after a controversial redevelopment proposal by Australian Catholic University to construct an additional five storeys to the rear of building and the construction of a nearby 12-storey tower.  The matter was decided at a Heritage Council hearing in July after the owners of the site, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Australian Catholic University, initially objected to its inclusion. This objection, which was later withdrawn, came despite the recommendation of Heritage Victoria to include the building on the register. Continue Reading →

Exterior side view Photo by Tony Knox

City of Greater Bendigo vote to heritage list Alistair Knox designed ‘Nanga Gnulle’

In welcome news this month, the City of Greater Bendigo have voted unanimously to progress heritage overlay protection for 40 Harley Street, Strathdale, also known as ‘Nanga Gnulle’.The significant postwar mud-brick residence was designed by noted architect and environmentalist Alistair Knox in the early 1970s, incorporating an eclectic range of reclaimed materials, many of which have provenance to the Bendigo area. In December 2016 we were contacted by our Bendigo Branch and concerned members of the local community regarding a permit application for the property that proposed the demolition of the main residence, the razing of the vast established gardens, and for the subdivision of the land to accommodate the construction of multiple townhouses. After receiving a large volume of objections to the permit application (you can read ours here) the City of Greater Bendigo commissioned architectural consultancy firm Built Heritage Pty Ltd to undertake a heritage assessment to determine whether the house reached the threshold for local heritage significance, and should thus be spared from demolition.  Continue Reading →

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Seymour Cottage, Romsey, 1981, John T. Collins. Photograph courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://www.slv.vic.gov.au.

The Plight of Seymour Cottage

Last week we were alerted to an article published in the Star Weekly regarding the plight of Seymour Cottage, a significant 19th century gold rush-era cottage in Romsey, that has fallen into disrepair and requires significant restoration. According to the article, Seymour Cottage has sustained extensive termite damage that could lead to potential structural failures and is closed to the public due to safety concerns. The building was entrusted to the Romsey and Lancefield Districts Historical Society in the 1980s and they have launched a financial appeal to preserve it for future generations.

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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.

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