Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Melbourne House on Little Bourke Street has been described as a building of

Melbourne House on Little Bourke Street has been described as a building of “aesthetic significance”.Credit:Simon Schluter

Deputy Mayor Nicholas Reece said the council was pleased that Melbourne House could be saved.

“This is a victory for the power of the people and the locals in the inner city, who have fought to preserve this building for many years,” he said.

“It was heartbreaking that it was planned to be demolished due to lack of protection. This new proposal will retain much of the interwar building with its Manhattan-style facade, which greatly contributes to the character and identity. [of] CBD. “

Instead of “facadism” – where the building is cleaned and leaves the front as a stage set – the planned redevelopment is known as a “top-up” that preserves much of the original building and adds additional floors.

Mark Baker has lived on the streets for more than two decades, saying the building and the proposed development were significant to Melbourne.

“We are certainly delighted that Melbourne House is being saved, that it is not being demolished, that the façade remains because it is an important building,” he said. ‘It should always have been protected. There was a screw-up in the process around the inheritance overlay for that area. ”

Sir. Baker, however, said residents and merchants had been left in the dark about the changed plans and that the municipality did not hear them.

“This is a shameful situation because there has been no consultation, no communication from surrounding property owners, including our building,” he said. “Our owners’ company has not been informed of any decision or given any opportunity to review or respond at this time.”


Sir. Baker said it was good news that the building would not be demolished, “but it happened by accident, not by design”.

“The Hardware Lane area is one of the most important historic heritage sites in the city of Melbourne, and the planning decisions in relation to it have been an abomination over the years,” he said.

“The council is running at the back of Melbourne’s track culture, but doing nothing at the end of the day to truly protect what is an invaluable part of our city and our city’s structure.”

Heritage Victoria CEO Steven Avery said the city of Melbourne had nearly 13,000 properties on its cultural heritage overlay that require a planning permission from the municipality to make a change.

“The city of Melbourne has been a diligent partner in protecting our state’s heritage,” he said. “Melbourne is one of the more proactive councils in protecting their local heritage – ordering timely inheritance reviews and keeping their heritage overlapping up to date.”

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