Council endorses North Melbourne Heritage Review

Sean Car

The City of Melbourne has rung in a new era of heritage protections in North Melbourne after endorsing the first review of the area’s heritage assets in nearly 40 years.

At a Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting in Parkville on April 12, councillors voted unanimously in favour of endorsing the North Melbourne Heritage Review following “very extensive and inclusive” consultation with the local community.

Conducted by architects Lovell Chen, the review recommended a number of interim and permanent heritage controls for the area under planning scheme amendments C402 and C403, respectively, which will now go before Minister for Planning Richard Wynne for approval.

While the previous heritage study of North Melbourne, which was completed in 1983, identified “almost exclusively Victorian and Edwardian era architecture” the latest review has assessed existing controls in addition to considering interwar, post-war and postmodern buildings.

A council report tabled at the April 12 FMC meeting said, “the outcome of the review reflects the unique, diverse heritage character of North Melbourne”, and recommended heritage overlays and statements of significance to four new places:

The Albion Hotel, Curzon St.

Hotham Gardens – Stage One (various sites), O’Shannassy St.

Harris Street’s Plane trees    

Flemington Bridge Railway Station, Boundary Rd.

The review also recommended revising the North and West Melbourne Precinct boundary, as well as its statement of significance to include new information about Aboriginal heritage values.

A total of 143 properties will also have their heritage categories changed as a result of the review, including 10 properties “where substantial alterations of demolition has occurred to be downgraded to non-contributory”, meaning a place which does not make a contribution to the cultural significance or historic character of the heritage precinct.

The review also recommended introducing a new statement of significance for North Melbourne Primary School on Errol St •

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