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93-103 Park Street

By Heritage, Planning No Comments

There are plans to demolish two Edwardian apartment buildings at 93 – 103 Park Street and replace them with a modern building. The MSYRG along with several local residents have banded together to fight this proposal and the image above shows the revised proposal from the developers. As you can see it retains the St Arnaud facade and some elements of the older building to the north (on the right in picture). The developer is arguing for the demolition of this older building on the grounds it is unsafe and irreparable. We continue to oppose its demolition.

Click here to view the original objection prepared and lodged for us by Sandra Rigo from Hansen Partners.

Draft Heritage Report Released

By Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning

The City of Melbourne has published it’s long awaited draft Heritage Policies Review which will voted on next Tuesday December 8, 2015.


Link to the Report.



Members are encouraged to review the documents and forward any comments to the executive. Member are also encourage to attend the meeting next Tuesday, Town Hall, Swanston Street


Purpose and background

1. The purpose of this report is to advise the Future Melbourne Committee of the outcomes of the Heritage Policies Review (HPR) and to seek the Committee’s endorsement to request the Minister for Planning’s authorisation to exhibit Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C258 Heritage Policies Review.
2. The HPR, together with the associated draft amendment C258, is  a 2015-16 Annual Plan initiative and addresses three actions in Council’s adopted Heritage Strategy 2013.
3. In July 2014, Council sought comments from the community on its discussion paper ‘Review of the Local Heritage Planning Policies in the Melbourne Planning Scheme.’ This work identified that the current heritage policies need updating, that statements of significance needed to be created for existing large
scale precincts and that the A to D grading system needs to be phased out.

Goodrest – Residents Ignored Again and Worse

By Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning, Traffic

After two years of deliberation the City of Melbourne (COM) decided on 1 September to ignore the residents extensive objections and submissions in relation to the planning application for this site. The objections were supported by reports of relevant experts. This was manifest by the COM issuing a notice of decision to grant a permit to Christ Church Grammar School to operate a primary school in the Victorian residence on the corner of Toorak Road West and Leopold Street.

The Councillors who approved the “Goodrest” planning application were;


Robert Doyle  (Lord Mayor)


Ken Ong (Chair)


Stephen Mayne (Deputy Chair)


Susan Riley (Deputy Lord Mayor)


Arron Wood (Team Doyle)


Kevin Louey (Team Doyle)


Cathy Oake (Greens)


Rohan Leppert (Greens)


Those who opposed the “Goodrest” planning application were:


Richard Foster


Beverley Pinder-Mortimer


Jackie Watts

It was an extraordinary decision for a number of reasons and another meeting where once again, ratepayers and their interests were treated by several councilors in a discourteous manner at best and with disdain at worst. The meeting was conducted in a manner such that most presenters were not given the opportunity to respond to questions and at times facing some councilors who were talking amongst themselves and not concentrating on the presentation being made.

Firstly, the decision.

1. For two years council engineers and planners have been considering and rejecting the school’s application and the school has been making and amending its submission.

2. This rejection was chiefly because of the difficulty in dropping off and collecting 170 young children and the enormous impact that would have on traffic and parking in that already busy part of Toorak Road. The impact would particularly affect local residents in Leopold Street which is unidirectional towards the school and very narrow.

3. For two years local residents have been objecting and submitting expert traffic reports explaining these difficulties in clear terms.

4. Then, within the past few weeks, the school amended its application once again by removing two pedestrian gates in Leopold Street and, to our surprise, negotiating with VicRoads for the provision of five additional parking places on the SOUTH side of Toorak Road outside the Senior Citizens building – approximately 240 metres away. A substantial walk for young children (some pre-school age) and requires crossing an arterial road. There will be additional competition for those new spaces by the pre-existing kindergarten at that very location. It is difficult to fathom that this practically irrelevant provision tipped the Council engineers into support!

5. The removal of the gates does not change the fundamental, and in our view, unresolvable, traffic and parking problems and neither do the additional parking spaces that are unlikely to be used because of the danger of getting young children across the busy road.

6. Nevertheless, for reasons that are in our view unsustainable and unexplainable these two additional and irrelevant changes were enough to persuade those engineers and officers to completely change the view held for the previous two years and recommend approval of the application notwithstanding that in their evidence they were far from confident about the outcome

7. As the officer’s report made it plain that it was these two changes that overcame two years of opposition, an understanding of this and the history would lead any responsible body to the inevitable conclusion that these changes were irrelevant, that the recommendation should not be accepted and that the application should be rejected on the basis that the use of the property for this purpose was unworkable in this residential area.

8. It was the responsibility of councilors to protect residents and reject this application “unless there is a net benefit to local residents and the local community”. It has been plain from the very outset that this activity will cause nothing but difficulties for local residents and that the only member of the local community to benefit will be the school. The application should clearly have been rejected and once again the City of Melbourne has failed in its obligation to residents.

Secondly, the ratepayers.

Over 50 residents attended the council meeting, all except 2 of whom where objectors. Fourteen objectors made verbal submissions. As has been the case on previous occasions, several councillors paid little attention to residents making their submissions and generally gave every indication that what residents were saying was of little relevance or interest to them.

There is an expectation from ratepayers and those presenting at such a meeting that councillors will remained focused and attentive to the task at hand and that chatter between councilors, moving about the room and interacting with portable communications devices is prejudicial to the satisfactory performance of that duty. .

When the offending councillors did have the opportunity to speak to the meeting, it was not to deal with the critical traffic and parking issues but to raise irrelevant issues or make a disparaging remark or implied threat about losing resident parking rights if their opposition went any further. Local residents were justifiably concerned about the issue, had given the matter substantial thought and responded carefully. Regrettably however, several councillors treated them disgracefully.

Residents left the meeting unhappy and angry not just about the decision but about the dismissive and discourteous way they and their views were treated. While the Mayor regularly warns those in the audience about treating speakers courteously, the same rule seems not to apply to councillors.


Council Turnaround Approves Development Ignoring Residents Concerns

By Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning, Traffic

The City of Melbourne turnaround has ignored residents concerns and in the process Crs Ken Ong and Stephen Mayne threatened to withdraw residential parking permits.

Opposed to Residents Concerns


Robert Doyle


Ken Ong


Stephen Mayne


Susan Riley


Arron Wood


Kevin Louey


Cathy Oake


Rohan Leppert


Support for Residents


Richard Foster


Beverley Pinder-Mortimer


Jackie Watts


For the last two years the City Council engineers and planners have opposed the establishment of an early-learning centre, on the Corner of Toorak Road West and Leopold Street South Yarra,  supporting residents concerns in relation to traffic management, parking and heritage.

Last nights decision to support the development has come as a surprise given that very little has changed to address the problems foreseen with the proposed development with no net gain to the amenity of the area.

Goodrest is one of South Yarra’s most prized heritage assets, located within a residential neighbourhood zone the proposed construction of a 26 underground car-park with car entrance off Toorak road, demolition of residential apartments at the rear and the construction of a new Commercial building in its place.

Only Two Councillors (Cr Beverly Pinder-Mortimer and Cr Kevin Louey) met with residents on site.  Both indicated at the time they would be opposed to the granting of a planning permit. Cr Louey later voted to approve the development whilst Cr Pinder-Mortimer maintained her position and concerns over safety.

Cr Richard Foster spoke passionately in opposition to the granting of a permit and Cr Jackie Watts who did not attend the meeting on September 1 has also privately indicated that she was opposed to the development.

Listen to / download audio of the September 1 meeting:

Future Melbourne Committee meeting 1 September 2015 (MP3 50MB)

Speaker Time Issue
Michael Butcher 01:04:50 MSYRG
Paul McSweeny 01:08:50 Traffic
James Mathews 01:15:05 Planning Issues
Edward Hogdson 01:18:25 Taffic Analysis
Phillip Lawson 01:21:50 Traffic Amenity
Neil Gunn 01:25:40 Scotch College Judgement/Current Christ Church
Elizabeth Fox 01:29:00 Amenity. Noise Impact
Pauline Hirst 01:32:45 Local Amenity
Dr Leanna Deuval 01:35:45 Traffic Impact
Ken Whiddowson 01:38:08 Heritage
Jennifer McDonnald 01:42:25 Heritage
Judith-Ann Scott 01:46:12 Safety/Heritage
Stuart Black 01:49:35 Local Amenity/Restricted Access Proposal
Anthony van der Craats 01:53:25 Summary/Heritage
Ken Ong (Chair) 01:57:01 Removal of Street Parking
Stephen Mayne 02:04:25 Residential On-Street Parking – Empty
Robert Doyle 02:08:15 No reason to oppose Application
Arron Wood 02:13:10 Compfortable with traffc Management
Beverly Pinder 02:14:15 Opposed to development, Safety
Rohan Leppart 02:15:30 Support of Application/Net Benefit to Amenity/Additional information (Not published)
Richard Foster 02:19:30 Against recomendation/Support for residents’ concerns
Ken Ong (Chair) 02:21:50 Motion put to the vote
For: Robert Doyle, Susan Riley, Arron Wood, Stephen Mayne, Ken Ong, Kevin Louey, Cathy Oake, Rohan Leppert
Against: Beveley Pinder, Richard Foster
Absent: Jackie Watts


Protecting the Heritage of South Yarra

By Heritage, Uncategorized

The Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group has as one of its main objectives the desire to protect the heritage nature of South Yarra. To that end, the President Michael Butcher has led the development of a submission to the Melbourne Heritage Review (MHR) intended to clearly describe some of the important heritage features of a number of specific streets in the South Yarra component of the City of Melbourne. It was decided to focus at the outset on a number of streets, or sub-precincts, that had substantially intact heritage features. Additionally we needed the assistance of individual residents – “street captains”  who were able to contribute to the development of the statements of significance for each street. The MSYRG also commissioned the services of heritage architect Nigel Lewis to review and crystallise the individual precinct statements for ultimate submission to the Melbourne Heritage Review.

This project has involved many of hours of meetings, research and some expense to create this document that the MSYRG hopes will be a valuable contribution to the Melbourne Heritage review.

Very importantly, the MHR will be used by the City of Melbourne planning department to guide planning decisions in the future. The City of Melbourne states on its website that “Recognising and protecting the social and architectural heritage that defines our streets and neighbourhoods is an essential part of the City of Melbourne’s planning work”. The heritage review submission that we have made on behalf of all South Yarra residents aims to provide detail about the significant and irreplaceable heritage asset we have here in our midst.

It is important to realise that without the support of members and committee of the MSYRG, this important submission would not be possible and South Yarra would have missed out on vital input from residents who live in and take an interest in the area. Support of the MSYRG by local community is critical to its functioning.

Please take the time to have a read of the MSYRG submission – it outlines some of the rich and important history and of our local community.

MHR submission MSYRG

Melbourne Boy’s Grammar School (TP-2014-780)

By Heritage, Planning

Below is a copy of an objection sent on behalf of the Group that relates to the  proposed building on the Melbourne Grammar School site on the corner of Bromby and Domain Streets.  TP-2014-280

The property has an overlay called DDO15 (2) that has a suggested 12m height limit. The current building exceeds this limit and the proposed building seeks further height extension on top of the existing – taking it to approx. 18metres.

DDO15 (2) applies to the MGS site, and some of the immediately proximate MGS owned buildings in Domain Street and Bromby street.

All other proximate buildings are under the DDO15 (1) which has a mandatory 12m height limit.

Because the MGS site is a Heritage Victoria site, MGS had to apply to Heritage Victoria  to demolish the existing buildings, and they were successful in that bid. The problem is not the removal of the existing, but the size and form of the proposed.

The Groups Objection letter exposes the disregard that the commissioned architect has for the surrounding fine grain heritage buildings and the attempt of the MGS planning consultant (who had responded to our original objection – and the COM had asked for our response to her letter)

Our response: below

Letter to Melbourne City Council 08 01 15

National Trust: Goodrest site of State significance

By Heritage, Planning

The National Trust have expressed concern on the proposed Goodrest development on the corner of Leopold and 120 Toorak Road West, South Yarra.

Goodrest is classified by the National trust of Australia (Victoria) as being of State Significance.

 Attached below is a copy of the National Trust letter to the City of Melbourne

B1205 2014 10 21 Letter to City of Melbourne re Tree Removal Application


Heritage Victoria – Melbourne Grammar School Development

By Heritage, Planning

VHR0019 Melbourne Grammar School


Permit application P20703 for the demolition of the Bromby Building and construction of a new Science and Technology building on its site. Submissions closed on 9 July 2014.

Melbourne Grammar School Heritage Impact Statement
Site plans
Lower ground floor plan
Elevation, existing conditions, demolition and floor plans


MSYRG Submission to Heritage Victoria Application VHR0019

Letter to Heritage Victoria 23 07 14