Fisherman’s Bend Major Development Halted

Fisherman’s Bend – where exactly is that? The Mouth of the Yarra River? The junction with the Maribyrnong River? Webb Dock? South Bank? Well in reference to the area earmarked and approved for development it’s all of the above. It’s an area that covers 480 hectares (equal to the CBD district of Melbourne) and it will be the biggest single development in Melbourne ever. It is planned that over 80,000 people will live here with a further 80,000 employed and working in the new precinct. The plan is that the development of Fisherman’s Bend will link Melbourne’s CBD via the river and connect it to Port Phillip Bay.

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For now the project is on hold. It would appear there is much to be done before any real construction and development begins. Please read this report from Architecture AU written by Patrick Hunn.

Tower timeout: 26 Fishermans Bend developments halted

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Satellite view of central Melbourne and the Fishermans Bend renewal area

The Victorian government has “called in” 26 live development applications for towers in Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend, which it says were inappropriately dense.

State planning minister Richard Wynne criticized the decision of his predecessor, former planning minister and current leader of the opposition Matthew Guy, to rezone the formerly industrial area adjacent to the CBD “overnight,” without a plan for development.

The former planning minister’s decision sparked a spate of high-rise development applications and led to soaring property prices, which meant the government was forced to buy back land at highly inflated prices for community infrastructure such as schools and parks.

“What Matthew Guy did at Fishermans Bend stinks,” he said. “We make no apology for putting a stop to this development free-for-all – we’ll get the planning right and give Victorian families a community they can be proud of.”

Albert Park MP Martin Foley said, “Matthew Guy’s planning mess left us with a soulless Fishermans Bend where unplanned high rises were let loose on the community, and the interests of local residents were ignored. We’re fixing that mess.”

The affected applications will be referred to an independent advisory committee and “won’t be approved unless they have the community’s interests at heart.”

Opposition planning spokesperson David Davis said, “We need the additional [residential] capacity and now [Victorian premier] Daniel Andrews is causing delay, confusion and uncertainty by this unprecedented announcement,” according to a report from the ABC.

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The Fishermans Bend renewal area as laid out in the Fishermans Bend Draft Framework

The Australian Institute of Architects praised the government’s decision. Recently appointed Victorian chapter president Amy Muir said, “Fishermans Bend is a significant site that will shape and define our future as a city and as a growing community.

“The rezoning of Fishermans Bend prior to the implementation of planning controls or a holistic masterplan sets a dangerous precedent for providing imbalanced developments and ill-conceived built environments leading to long-term detrimental effects upon immediate and surrounding communities.”

She said a plan for the development of the area should not be rushed. “It is imperative that we have processes in place in order for the best design outcomes to be implemented.

“This is not about quick fix solutions but rather considered, holistic design solutions that acknowledge the significance and legacy of the project.”

In October 2017 the state government published its Fishermans Bend Draft Framework, which noted that parts of the area could have population densities of 1,300 people per hectare, and that the government should “introduce density and built form controls that support the creation of a clear centre in each precinct and support increased economic activity.”

The plan also projected that the area would be home to more than 80,000 people by 2050.

Muir said, “Moving forward we strongly support and recommend the engagement of a design review panel represented by the Australian Institute of Architects, the Planning Institute of Australia, the Urban Design Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

“The Institute supports a rigorous consultation process with experts in the field in order to provide balanced design advice from an urban planning, urban form and landscape perspective.

“We are very aware of the commercial endeavours that these projects hold. However we also understand that there needs to be a balance between commercial intent and the quality of the design outcome.”

On Twitter, Planning Institute of Australia (Victoria) president Laura Murray said, “If Fisherman’s Bend had been properly strategically planned in the first place, we would not be in this mess.

“I look forward to reading the outcomes of the upcoming panel report.”

Source: https://architectureau.com

The area has always been somewhat forgotten by Melburnians. Not surprising as to a large extent, the area was cut off from the rest of Melbourne. Reserved as Crown Land for decades after Emerald Hill, Port Melbourne and the town of Melbourne were developed, it was a watery, sandy, scrub ridden wasteland in the eyes of the British and European settlers.

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Home to fishing communities living on the beach in shacks it provided the perfect location to develop extractive and ‘dirty’ industry at first then aircraft production and General Motors Holden all leading the way after World War II. Prior to World War II, Cement Works, soap factories, tanneries, abattoirs and the like filled the eastern end of the precinct. During the 1960s and early 1970s the old Fisherman’s Bend Airstrip (RAAF) was used as Melbourne’s first drag racing strip. Then with the building of the West Gate Bridge and the expansion of the facilities at Webb Dock, the area became a wasteland until the development (mainly via volunteers) of the Westgate Park added some civility to the area.

In 1839 an early settler wrote thus.

“The row up the Yarra I shall never forget. The Yarra’s waters were as clear as crystal, wild fowl rose in numbers from the river’s bends as the sounds of our oars disturbed them. Here and there the stream was overarched by the growth on either side.”

Fast forward to 2018. What is the vision for the future? According to the latest assessments, there has been little forward planning on transport, amenities such as schools and parks, and the massive relocation of huge numbers of people and industry to the area in a relatively short period. General Motors Holden has left the area except for a minor presence. As it stands Williamstown Road (named as it terminated at the river ferry depot) leads to a large empty space on the south side of the Westgate Bridge, earmarked for residential multi-storey apartments. To the east of the bridge heading back to the CBD along Lorimer St are disused docks, factories and vacant land.

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Planned ‘vertical school’ for the area

The State Government has ‘called in’ 26 ‘live’ development high rise applications within the precinct, which it says are inappropriately dense.

Land prices have risen astronomically and the Government must pay a premium now for sites required for schools, parks and playgrounds.

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Artist’s impression of what Ingles St will look like in the new Fisherman’s Bend precinct

In short, where is the ‘plan’? if this is to be the showpiece Melbourne’s Gateway deserves, it will require careful planning in architecture, public transport, recreational parkland and facilities, and infrastructure such as schools, community centres and sporting facilities.

Let’s take a breath – and create something superb – a vision for the future – perhaps that even considers that original settler’s first impressions. Is it possible? It is if we plan for it. What’s your opinion?

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

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The Trees on St Kilda Rd – Gone and going!

The St Kilda Rd tree removals have begun. What is particularly sad is the removal of the Elm trees, a species struggling to survive the ravages of the Dutch Elm Beetle and the disease it has spread widely through Melbourne’s famous Boulevards and gardens. In the case of these trees, they were aged well over 100 years old and had significant investment from the Melbourne City Council, the State Government and others in protecting them from the Dutch Elm Beetle disease.

Take a look at the photo in yesterday’s Age Newspaper. The trees have been clear felled and the area is now a scene of devastation – as would be expected of a construction site of this magnitude.

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The Heritage listing of the trees by the Federal Government – to be correct, the trees were added to the ‘National History List’ and as of Valentines Day 2018, that’s exactly what they are now – History.

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Melbourne Grammar School

Consider the Architecture of the precinct – Melbourne Grammar, Victoria Barracks, the Shrine of Remembrance and a plethora of medium rise, fairly uninteresting, multi-storey buildings. The elms and plane trees are in fact overriding features of interest on St Kilda Rd and Albert Rd – as well as the Domain Tram Interchange building which harks back to the early 20th Century.

The issue is not the project – the Metro Rail Project. It’s simply the decision – based on pure economics to remove the trees – heritage listed trees, that Heritage Victoria have now given permission to remove.

For a full update, read the article in yesterday’s Age here…

‘Final blow’: tree felling begins on St Kilda Road

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Tree felling works begin on the corner of Albert and St Kilda Roads on Wednesday.

Felling has begun to remove dozens of plane and elm trees along Melbourne’s St Kilda Road this week to pave the way for Metro Tunnel project in a move locals say strikes at the heart of the grand boulevard’s identity.

Twenty-six mature trees along St Kilda Road between Toorak Road West and Dorcas Street and from within Albert Road Reserve will be chopped down in the coming days, after works began on Wednesday.

Heritage Victoria on Friday granted permits to remove 60 trees in the area, despite the road recently being permanently added to National History List.

The permit paves the way for 47 trees to be removed from St Kilda Road and 13 from the Albert Road Reserve.

A further twelve trees were cut down in St Kilda Road last year.

It is believed to be among the largest number of trees cut down in one fell swoop in the leafy boulevard’s history. And there’s more to come.

The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority plans to chop down a total of 95 trees along St Kilda Road, down from 170 following fierce opposition from the community.

However, the Authority will need to obtain more permits to complete the works.

Marilyn Wane, who lives on St Kilda Road, said it was the “final blow.”

“We’re just devastated,” Ms Wane said. “The thing that is most upsetting is that they’ve started with oldest and most valuable assets in the whole area. Those elms trees are part of avenue which has been there for 100 years. They are destroying history.”

Ms Wane also accused the authorities of being “underhanded” by publicly withholding the permits until just hours before the works began on Wednesday afternoon.

“It would be nice if the treated us with respect given it’s our backyard they’re digging up,” she said.

The Authority has promised to plant two trees for every one removed, and says the new trees would be planted in improved soil conditions and with better irrigation.

“We are continuing to investigate reducing this number further however some removal is necessary for a project of this size,” a Metro Railway Authority spokesman said.

Liberal Member for the Southern Metropolitan Region Margaret Fitzherbert accused the government of going for a “cheap and nasty option” despite changing its mind for Swanston Street, which was originally also going to be dug up as part of the project.

“This is going to have a massive impact on the area for years to come,” she said.

Late last year, the Andrews government announced it had signed a $6 billion contract, to build the nine kilometre tunnels and five underground stations with the Cross Yarra Partnership consortium led by Lendlease, and a $1.1 billion contract for high-capacity signalling with CPB Contractors and Bombardier Transportation.

Draft plans for the new Anzac Station detail a significant transformation of St Kilda Road, and stirred controversy over an new design for bike lanes along the boulevard.

Source: theage.com.au

Presently one of our team is awaiting a letter from the Minister for Public Transport M/s Jacinta Allan on an alternative plan for the removal, storage and return of the trees.

It would appear we have missed the bus, tram or train in this instance – the trees are well on the way as a group to oblivion. What a terrible shame for our beautiful city and its most beautiful boulevard. As a somewhat famous outlaw muttered before his death…

“Such is life”

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Boer War Memorial at Albert Rd Reserve

 

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Victoria Barracks

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Victoria Barracks

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Victoria Barracks

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Melbourne Grammar School

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

Heritage Listing – What is it?

Recently there has been a range of buildings, locations or sites that have invoked Heritage Status as the key element of the requirement for preservation. For the main we here at Balance Architecture and Interior Design are concerned with Heritage Listings referring to buildings, internal fitouts and associated groundworks – the Architecture, the design, the history.

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The Victorian Heritage Register has quite specific criteria on which it will base a Heritage Registration. For the purposes of clarity we provide you with the information here so that you can both understand Heritage Listings and ensure suitable buildings, locations and objects are covered in a manner you have perceived.

Registration

Find out how to nominate a place to the Victorian Heritage Register, alter or remove a registration, or download registration forms and guidelines.

Any place or object registered by the Heritage Council is of special cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria and legally protected to help ensure it survives for future generations to appreciate.

Registration doesn’t mean it can’t be sold, prevent it being employed for a different use, or guarantee that it will never be altered:

Registration Process Chart (PDF, 345.4 KB)

What registration means (PDF, 50.3 KB)

Owner rights and obligations

If a place or object is recommended, we provide a report to the owners and seek their views before adding a place or object to the register. This includes:

  • a statement of cultural heritage significance
  • a proposed extent of registration
  • proposed activities that may not require a permit.

Owners of a place or object subject to an Executive Director recommendation have obligations (DOCX, 460.9 KB) to ensure that the place/object is protected prior to the Heritage Council making a decision about whether it should be included in the Register.

Owners guide

Heritage Victoria has published a new brochure for owners of Victorian Heritage Register listed places.  It provides important information relevant to you as an owner or custodian of a heritage asset, including information regarding the Living Heritage Grants Program which provides conservation funding for Victorian Heritage Register listed places.

Nominate

Anyone can nominate a place or object to the Victorian Heritage Register, but only a small percentage of them will meet the Heritage Council of Victoria’s criteria.

Confirm eligibility

Before you complete a nomination form ask yourself the questions below. If you answer yes to any of them you’ll probably need to look at other protections for the place or object:

Is the place or object solely of local significance?

The Heritage Register is reserved for places and objects which are considered to be important to Victoria as a whole.

Places of purely local significance are more appropriately identified through heritage overlays to the local planning scheme. If you believe the place is mainly important in the context of its local area, you should contact the relevant local council.

Is the place or object solely of natural or environmental significance?

The Heritage Act applies only to places of cultural heritage significance.

Some places that are solely of natural or environmental significance will be protected by virtue of their land management status. For example, forests, coastlines or areas of remnant vegetation will often constitute public land that is managed as a National Park, State Park, Coastal Park, fauna reserve or similar.

Other places that are solely of natural or environmental significance may be more appropriately identified and managed through Environmental Significance Overlays, Significant Landscape Overlays or Vegetation Protection Overlays in local planning schemes If you believe the place is important solely for its natural or environmental values, you should contact the relevant local council.

Is the place or object solely of Aboriginal significance?

The Heritage Act doesn’t apply to places and objects which are important only in respect of their association with Aboriginal tradition or traditional use.

Such places are better protected through legislation administered by Aboriginal Victoria

Nomination form

You must use the correct form:

Application to nominate a place or object for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register form (DOCX, 134.6 KB)

The form includes a detailed guide to help you complete it accurately:

  • read the guide carefully
  • make sure you complete mandatory sections
  • provide attachments where required.

We won’t consider your application if:

  • it’s incomplete
  • it has inadequate or insufficient information
  • it’s for a place or object that has already been considered and rejected, unless you provide substantial new information.

Victorian Heritage Register

For a place or object to be included in the Victorian Heritage Register it must meet at least one of the Heritage Council of Victoria’s Criteria for Assessment.

Use the Criteria and Threshold Guidelines to help you apply the criteria to your application.

7 August 2008: Criteria adopted by the Heritage Council pursuant to Sections 8(1)(c) and 8(2) of the Heritage Act 1995:

Criterion A – Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria’s cultural history.

Criterion B – Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria’s cultural history.

Criterion C – Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria’s cultural history.

Criterion D – Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.

Criterion E – Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics.

Criterion F – Importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

Criterion G – Strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons. This includes the significance of a place to Indigenous peoples as part of their continuing and developing cultural traditions.

Criterion H – Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria’s history.

GuidelinesThe Guidelines (DOCX, 249.3 KB) for nomination to the Victorian heritage Register (VHR) provides valuable information to support you in developing a nomination for the VHR.

Landscapes of Cultural Heritage Significance

The Assessment Guidelines will help you understand, identify and assess the cultural values of landscapes in Victoria. These Landscape Guidelines were endorsed by Heritage Council of Victoria and Heritage Victoria in February 2015.

If a place is nominated to the Victorian Heritage Register, these Guidelines supplement The Victorian Heritage Register Criteria and Threshold Guidelines.

Landscape Assessment Guidelines (DOCX, 6.4 MB)

Short Form Landscape Assessment Guidelines (DOCX, 1.5 MB)

Amend or remove

Owners or other parties who want to amend or remove a registration need to complete the application form:

Application to amend or remove an item on the Heritage Register (DOCX, 139.4 KB)

Amend

Registrations on the Victorian Heritage Register can be amended by:

  • changing the extent of registration including adding or removing land
  • changing the Statement of Significance or permit policy
  • removing or amending permit exemptions
  • removing a place or object from the Heritage Register.

Once a place or object has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register, owners can apply to have the extent of registration altered. Altering the extent might include increasing the amount of land that is included in the Register, or applying to have the amount of registered land reduced.

Owners can apply to have permit exemptions put in place identifying works which don’t need a permit under the Heritage Act 2017. Exemptions can save time and resources for both permit applicants and Heritage Victoria.

Remove

Applications to reduce the extent of registration or to remove a place or object from the Heritage Register are rarely approved.

You need to demonstrate that the place, or the extent of registration, doesn’t adequately satisfy the Heritage Council’s criteria.

Source: heritage.vic.gov.au

You may be surprised to note that the criterions are quite general. Heritage Registrations that remain intact and unchallenged are often based on the very unique Architecture that (a) demonstrates cultural history, (b) rare and endangered aspects of Victoria’s Cultural History, (c) the potential to reveal information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria’s History.

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Read the Criterion carefully. By understanding the criterion it provides a very solid backing for supporting those buildings, locations or items challenged by Developers and others in VCAT.

The recent APM ‘Alphington Power Station’ is a good case in point. It simply did not meet the requirements of the criteria to register for Heritage Listing.

It can be seen that the process to gain listing on the heritage Register is an interpretation of the criteria stated:

“The Heritage Council of Victoria is a ten member independent statutory decision making body that makes decisions on heritage issues with Victoria. The council members are drawn from a wide range of professional disciplines and organisations, supported by a small secretariat. Separately, Heritage Victoria is a Victorian State Government agency and is part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Its Executive Director is responsible to the aforementioned Department.”

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Note, this is separate to the Heritage Council of Victoria, an independent statutory body established under the Heritage Act 2017. Confusing? A little.

The Heritage Council’s powers and responsibilities are set out in the said Heritage Act. The Council is in fact independent of Heritage Victoria and its Executive Director in its decision making and quasi-judicial roles.

The Heritage Council has real power when it chooses to apply it.

There have been confusing comments made over the last few months as to Government and its role in interpreting or enforcing Heritage Rulings. Hopefully this clarifies that role and gives insight into how the process works.

In many cases, the first the public knows of a Heritage registration is when it is challenged by a developer or organisation. Often when a project is contracted via a Tender process, the responsibility to adhere to such a Heritage responsibility becomes that of the Head Contractor, builder, engineer or developer – not the Governments. The Government must be seen to have carried out due process, provided full information and respected all Heritage Registrations in the preparation of the Tender documentation, Tender process and Tender acceptance.

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It’s a fine balance between recognising frivolous applications for Heritage registration and ensuring genuine Heritage values are respected and adhered to.

Clarity will ensure not only a better future for Victorians, but real respect and funding for Heritage values and projects.

Ask a simple question. Who is challenging or has ignored a Heritage Registration?

  • A planner? Architect, builder, engineer or major contractor
  • At what stage of a project or a prospective project has this occurred?
  • Has the Government through either Heritage Victoria or the Planning Minister been made aware of the perceived challenge or transgression?
  • Has Local Government, State Government acknowledged the Heritage registration?

Pure Politics is useless. Politicians may stridently attack the Government of the day or the Opposition. But remember Heritage ‘Listing’ or Registration is in fact a process. Examine the process not the participants. Clarity will always trump emotion.

Til next week

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

Melbourne’s biggest construction project ever – the Melbourne Metro Rail Project – minus 800 trees.

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Melbourne Metro Rail Project

Since planning for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project began in 2014, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) has been advocating for cultural and environmental heritage to be a key consideration in planning for the project. The following detailed position statement regarding the Domain Station/St Kilda Road precinct has been approved by the Board of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

Advocacy Position Statement: Melbourne Metro Rail Project Domain Station/St Kilda Road Precinct

Summary

The National Trust accepts the strategic justification for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project, including the transport objectives to increase capacity across the metropolitan rail network. We believe that the Environmental Effects Statement and subsequent Inquiry by an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee has provided an appropriate process to consider the impacts of the project, of which heritage is just one, as well as providing an opportunity for community consultation to occur and for community concerns to be considered.

It is our view that St Kilda Road and environs is a place of outstanding value to the nation, as well as having a high level of significance to the local community and the state of Victoria, and that all care must be taken to avoid or minimise negative heritage impacts associated with the Melbourne Metro project. We believe that it is essential for heritage impacts to be minimised and managed appropriately, in the context of St Kilda Road’s environmental and cultural values as an urban landscape which has evolved over many years.

On balance, the National Trust supports the MMRA’s preferred location for Domain Station. We understand that the Melbourne Metro Tunnel contractor will be required to meet a number of performance requirements relating to heritage management and environmental outcomes. It is the National Trust’s expectation that the St Kilda Road boulevard will be reinstated, as close as practicable, to its current configuration following the completion of the project, including the planting of super-advanced tree specimens. We also expect that environmental conditions, including soil volume and irrigation, will be improved following the completion of the project. The National Trust does not support the relocation of the Domain Station to the Shrine of Remembrance reserve, as it is our strong view that this would result in unacceptable impacts on memorial plantings and the setting of the Shrine.

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Background

The Melbourne Metro Tunnel comprises twin 9km rail tunnels from Kensington to South Yarra As part of the project, an underground railway station and train/tram interchange (Domain Station) is proposed at the intersection of St Kilda, Domain and Albert Roads.

As part of the planning process, an Environmental Effects Statement was prepared, which was publicly exhibited from 25 May to 6 July 2016 and reviewed by a specially appointed Inquiry and Advisory Committee, which held a public hearing from 22 August to 7 October 2016. Following the inquiry, a report was prepared for the Minister for Planning, In December 2016, the Minister for Planning released his Assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978, which concluded the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process for this project.

The National Trust’s views are informed by consultation with the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, participation in the EES process, community consultation, and expert advice provided by the National Trust’s Significant Tree Expert Committee.

Environmental Effects Statement and Inquiry

On 19 September, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) made a submission to the Inquiry, supported by advice from the National Trust’s Significant Tree Expert Committee, including significant concerns about heritage impacts in the Domain Parklands and along the St Kilda Road corridor. Below is a summary of the National Trust’s key submissions relating to the Domain Parklands and St Kilda Road corridor:

Domain Parklands

  • The alignment option above CityLink would have an unacceptable and detrimental impact on the heritage of the Domain, including the loss of up to 81 trees in Tom’s Block, and the long-term impacts of soil stabilisation methods.
  • The National Trust strongly advocates for the lower alignment under the CityLink Tunnels, as the upper alignment poses an unacceptable risk to the state significant Domain Parklands.

Shrine Reserve

  • Trees in the Shrine Reserve should be retained where possible as part of the detailed design.
  • If some specimens cannot be retained, their species and significance should be adequately recorded to replace the plantings and plaques as soon as possible, either in situ, or in a new location nearby agreed by relevant stakeholders.

St Kilda Road

  • The National Trust supports alternative excavation methods in St Kilda Road with the aim of protecting trees.
  • The National Trust supports the evidence presented that block replacement is the best horticultural method of replacing avenues, however the community’s appreciation of the heritage significance of the avenue, and the amenity value of the trees, should be considered as part of succession planning.
  • The National Trust would expect that any tree removal on St Kilda Road would be demonstrated to be completely unavoidable.
  • Sufficient soil volume and irrigation must be provided to re-establish an avenue with equal or improved landscape characteristics, namely large trees with touching canopies planted at similar regular intervals to emulate the existing trees.

During the Inquiry hearing, the MMRA confirmed that the tunnel alignment would be below CityLink, negating the National Trust’s key concerns about impacts on Tom’s Block. A number of the National Trust’s other concerns were addressed through amendments to Environmental Performance Requirements, including maximum tree retention (EPR No. AR1). The Minister for Planning further added a requirement that no trees should be removed through early works that are not associated with early works (EPR No. AR1). Heritage was also explicitly included as a consideration for requirements relating to Landscape and Visual Performance Requirements (EPR No. LV1)

Early Works

In December 2016, the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority submitted a Permit Application to Heritage Victoria for a permit for Early Works on St Kilda Road, including the removal of 103 trees, and the removal of bluestone and concrete street elements.

The National Trust made a submission in consultation with the Significant Tree Expert Committee, and submitted that the scale of proposed tree removals on St Kilda Road would have an adverse impact on the recognised significance of the place. We submitted that all care must be taken to ensure that impacts are minimised and mitigated through sensitive detailed design and construction methodology. We submitted that the application contained insufficient justification for proposed tree removals, or details regarding the reinstatement of the trees and remediation of the St Kilda Road corridor. We further submitted that the application was based on a worst case scenario, and as such, had the potential to see unnecessary tree removal. The National Trust’s submission sought permit conditions requiring landscape reinstatement, including tree replacement, and the storage and re-use of bluestone removed during the works.

On 27 April 2017, the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria issued a permit for Early Works, permitting the removal of 18 trees, temporary bluestone kerb and guttering removal and replacement, tram realignment and installation of associated infrastructure. It is the National Trust’s understanding that the permit allows the removal of the minimum number of trees required by the works, and that further tree removal may be sought for future stages of the project. Conditions of the permit require the preparation and approval of a Tree Management and Protection Plan, the replacement of all trees prior to the completion of the Metro Tunnel Project, the preparation of a detailed tree planting methodology and maintenance schedule, the reinstatement of bluestone kerbing and guttering, and financial security in the form of an unconditional Bank Guarantee.

On balance, the National Trust is comfortable with the Early Works permit, and the permit conditions address many of the National Trust’s key concerns.

Boer War Memorial

Following participation in consultation regarding the Boer War Memorial and the review of documentation accompanying the MMRA’s permit application to Heritage Victoria, the National Trust supports the removal, storage, conservation, and reinstatement of the Boer War Memorial under the supervision of qualified professionals, and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The National Trust does not support the relocation of the memorial to the Shrine reserve, and would expect that the memorial is reinstated to as close as possible to its current location, and that the station design is sensitive to the heritage values of the memorial.

Alternative Station Proposals

Shrine Reserve

The National Trust understands that during the EES Inquiry process, an alternative design for Domain Station was submitted for consideration, proposing the relocation of Domain Station beneath the Shrine Reserve. The Minister’s Assessment included the following statement (p18)

In this Assessment, I have concluded that the environmental effects of the Project as proposed for the Domain can be adequately mitigated and managed, however I have also said that the opportunity for refinement of the Project to achieve an even better environmental outcome should be facilitated.  Moving the proposed Domain Station in the way considered by the IAC may result in potential traffic management, amenity, heritage benefits (particularly in relation to tree 19 retention), and urban design and landscape opportunities during and after the construction phase, and is something I think should be further investigated.

We understand that as a result of this Ministerial direction, the MMRA undertook investigations into the feasibility of relocating the station underneath the Shrine reserve.

It is the National Trust’s strong view that this alternative proposal would result in significantly more adverse heritage impacts than the MMRA’s preferred alignment, given the national significance of the Shrine reserve. The proposal would also require the removal of a large number of memorial plantings dedicated to various individuals and groups, which we believe would be an unacceptable outcome. The National Trust does not support this alternative alignment.

Fawkner Park

In May 2017, the National Trust received information regarding an alternative proposal to relocate the station to Fawkner Park. Following a review of this proposal, and discussions with MMRA, we understand that this option is not feasible, as it would not meet the transport objectives of the project. For this reason, the National Trust does not support this alternative alignment.

Nomination to National Heritage List

On 16 January 2017, St Kilda Road and Environs was nominated for the National Heritage List. On 13 February 2017 the Minister used the emergency listing provisions to include St Kilda Rd and Environs in the National Heritage List. The Australian Heritage Council is required to make a recommendation by 1 December 2017, and on 28 April 2017, the National Trust wrote to Dr David Kemp, Chair of the AHC, supporting the inclusion of the place on the National Heritage List.

Potential Nomination to World Heritage List

On 12 May 2017, the National Trust was provided with a copy of a letter submitted to the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy, requesting an emergency nomination of St Kilda Road and Environs to the World Heritage List. The National Trust supports further research to determine the viability of a World Heritage nomination.

Source: nationaltrust.org.au

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Take all of the information into consideration. Do you believe there is an adequate plan in place to protect the Heritage value of this most famous of Melbourne’s vistas? Add to this the other significant City buildings such as 222 Flinders St, the third oldest stone warehouse building in the Melbourne CBD (1856), the Port Phillip Arcade, Campbell’s Arcade and Gossard’s Building (corner of Franklin and Swanston), which may well be effected, there is much to consider.

And there’s still time to register your opinion. We suggest the City of Melbourne, your local State Government MP or contributing to the National Trust campaign. Whatever you do, don’t be silent. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.