The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to protect the character of the Alphington community, create more affordable housing and preserve treasured local heritage.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today announced the old Boiler House – a dilapidated former power station built in 1954 – will not be granted heritage protection.
The decision paves the way for the dangerous, asbestos-ridden structure to be demolished to make way for new homes, parkland and open space.
Importantly, any development will need to comply with local planning controls, and the building planned for the site of the Boiler House is expected to be half its height.
Mr Wynne’s decision to overrule the Heritage Council of Victoria recommendation to grant heritage protection comes after close consultation with the community.
The abandoned power station is run down and often vandalised. Submissions from local residents to the Heritage Council said the Boiler House had polluted the Yarra River, and that it is “unattractive” and “universally hated.”
The Heritage Council viewed the site as an “example of glazed curtain wall construction in Victoria”, but Mr Wynne has ruled there are multiple more noteworthy examples already registered, such as Wilson Hall at the University of Melbourne and the former BHP House in William Street.
In a win for the community, the Labor Government will work with Glenvill – the developer of the site – on a $5.1 million package of heritage measures that preserve and pay tribute to the paper mill’s history.
There will be a new industrial heritage plaza, featuring interactive information about the history of the site, as well as a ‘Paper Trail’ designed to celebrate the site’s close links with the Yarra River.
Proper planning is all about getting the balance right between protecting neighbourhood character, local heritage and helping more Victorians own their own home – that’s what this decision does.
The Labor Government is making it easier for Victorians to buy their first home, with thousands of Victorian first home buyers benefitting from generous stamp duty cuts that came into force on 1 July.
The Government is also making renting fair through a major package of reforms that give tenants more rights, helps them stay on longer leases, makes bonds smaller and fairer, and cracks down on dodgy landlords.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“The old power station is an eyesore, a relic of the past and needs to go. There are better ways to celebrate the heritage of this historic site.”
“The Alphington community has spoken and we’ve listened. This decision will pave the way for the dangerous, asbestos-ridden Boiler House to be demolished, and replaced with new homes, parkland and open space.”
“This is proper planning at play – getting the balance right between protecting neighbourhood character, preserving heritage and driving supply that makes homes more affordable.”