Heritage cottage gets reno go-ahead

Heritage cottage gets reno go-ahead
David Schout

A small terrace home in West Melbourne has been approved for “substantial redevelopment” despite being a “significant” heritage building.

Green-lighted works on the 1860s-built dwelling, which sits central in a row of five cottages on Chetwynd St, include demolition to rear portions of the building and roof, followed by a two-storey rear extension.

City of Melbourne councillors approved the $700,000 redevelopment — the extent to which, on a significant heritage building, was described as “rare” by one councillor — at an October 5 Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

Council officers had deemed works on the run-down building, in this instance, appropriate to make the property “habitable”.

Crucially, almost all changes to the building would not be visible from street level.

Officers even declared that the demolition works “will not adversely impact the heritage character of the place”, something deputy planning chair Cr Rohan Leppert took exception with.

“I disagree that the proposal won’t adversely impact the heritage of the building,” he said.

 

Most of it is being demolished [and] I think it’s obvious the building will be adversely impacted. So, I disagree with the reasoning in the delegate report quite strongly — I really don’t think that the heritage policy has been clearly met.

 

Cr Leppert however stopped short of voting against the planning permit application.

“The impact from the public realm will be relatively minimal, but obviously the heritage place will be adversely impacted. Nevertheless, a permit should issue, because we want to see this place well kept-up, and the extension shouldn’t be blocked on heritage grounds alone. I think it is quite a sympathetic and clever extension.”

Council planning chair Cr Nicholas Reece said the cottage was as “cute as a button”, located on a “really lovely street” in the city, opposite Eades Place Park.

He commended Krisna Cheung Architects for the design.

It is estimated the cottage at 16 Chetwynd St was built in 1868.

It is one of five in a row of “Moore’s Cottages”, named after first owner, Queensberry St surgeon Dr. George Moore.

There is a similar row of Moore’s Cottages on Rosslyn St.

The dwelling was not deemed of architectural significance individually, but rather as a row.

According to a City of Melbourne heritage database, one of its notable historical features include “early street side frontage”.

The two-bedroom cottage was sold in $760,000 in June 2019, a price $160,000 above its auction reserve.

Reports suggested the auctioneer called it a “renovator’s delight”, and “pretty much the last house before the city”.

The property’s long-time owner died around 18 months prior to it being sold.

A tenant was believed to have previously occupied the cottage for 24 years •

Caption: The 1860s-built West Melbourne home (light blue facade) sits central in a row of five cottages.

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