Heritage Victoria have just handed down a decision on the previously reported application for subdivision of the heritage listed Banyule House (c 1845), and for the construction of contemporary town houses in its grounds.
This is a very disappointing decision for Banyule’s and the State’s heritage. It will set an unfortunate precedent or development on or adjacent to heritage properties elsewhere in Banyule.
Whilst the decision places a number of conditions on the permit, these largely go to a schedule of works which will go towards renovation and repairs. However, given the likely sale price of the three units which will have views across Banyule Flats to the Ranges (likely to be in excess of $1 m each) the owners will still make a substantial profit. The units have not been scaled down or amended to lessen their visual impact, especially when viewed from the East across the Banyule wetlands.
This project will however still require a planning permit which would have to be approved by Council (who opposed the application on the last occasion). If the packed gallery at a Council meeting earlier in the year is any indication of the strength of feeling amongst the community on this, the owners should expect there will still be strong and passionate opposition to this project, which has not diminished. It is clear that the community in Banyule are willing to stand up for theirs and the State’s heritage and are not going to now lie down and let this significant piece of our history and heritage be diminished by such inappropriate and insensitive development.
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