Save 1 Victoria Street Albert Park !

This little place on a pointy corner at the end of the #BridportStreet shops in #AlbertPark was recently saved from demolition but maybe not for long ! Its a particularly charming 1934 #ArtsAndCrafts style collection of #roughcast planes and volumes with odd angles forming a consulting room with flats above, created by building around an 1895 house that had a prominent #castironverandah.

The Saade Group bought it for $5.675mill in 2018, proposed a four storey block of seven apts, a 100-seat restaurant and two shops despite it being #heritagelisted as significant within a #heritageprecinct. So a local group raised $30,000 and went to #VCAT along with @cityofportphillip, and they won, yay ! BUT the developers had engineers who stated that the the foundations were unsound, the walls cracked etc and it would fall down in 10 years and cost $5mill to repair. (!). I bet it’s no more cracked than every other old house in Melb after the drought etc. Anyway, the Port Phillip #heritageguidelines unfortunately include the lines that if a place is unsound, then it can be dem if the new proposal has ‘design excellence’ and fits the character etc. So VCAT didn’t say no to demolition but no to the new thing – 2 weeks ago – which means the developers will be back with a ‘better’ design. Other Councils do not have that clause, the structural soundness of place is not a reason for demolition, because if course you might just leave a place abandoned until it’s unsound, though that didn’t happen here.

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