First enforcement of strengthened heritage protection laws

Feature Image: ‘Shenley Croft’ after the fire. Source: Boroondara Council.

Following the destruction of a heritage listed dwelling, ‘Shenley Croft’ at 7 Mangarra Road, Canterbury by arson, Boroondara Council’s Urban Planning Delegated Committee have endorsed recommendations to enforce the Planning & Environment Bill 2021 under section 6B. If approved by the Minister for Planning, this will be the first enforcement of section 6B, preventing development due to unlawful demolition.

In 2021 the state government introduced tough new laws into the Parliament to strengthen Victoria’s building system and provide greater protection for heritage listed places. The provisions under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 prevent benefit through subsequent development of sites in the case of unlawful demolition or neglect of heritage places.

The legislation is intended to prohibit development on these sites for up to 10 years and allow for new permits to be issued for specific purposes – such as building a park or reconstruction or repair of the heritage building. Until now the legislation has remained untested.

The National Trust wrote to the UPDC in support of Council Officer’s recommendations to utilise Section 6B. We as a community rely on heritage protections to tell our story. Through protecting places and their diverse values, we are the better for understanding the important histories of our local areas, which is just as important as our state and national heritage sites. 

Read our letter to the Boroondara Urban Planning Delegated Committee here.

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