Developers of Cremorne’s Richmond Maltings site – home of the historic Nylex clock – have been given a 21-day ultimatum to clean up the deteriorating site or face fines of up to $773,000.
Heritage Victoria this week issued Caydon Property Group with a show-cause, giving them three weeks to address ongoing neglect, arson and fires that have damaged the historic site on the Yarra River.
Trespassers have vandalised the site and two fires in the past nine months, on 24 November 2017 and 24 July 2018, causing significant damage to two heritage buildings.
Inspections by Heritage Victoria, City of Yarra, Victoria Police and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade have shown the site to be poorly secured, despite repeated warnings.
Failure to adequately secure a heritage place is a breach of the Heritage Act 2017, which requires that the owner must not allow that place to fall into disrepair.
The owners of the Cremorne site are required to carry out the following works by 24 August:
- Repair and secure all boundary fencing to block trespassers
- Secure all external doors and windows to protect from weather
- Secure all stairs, ladders and gantry walkways to prevent unauthorised access
- Carry out other works needed to protect from trespassers, vandalism and fire.
After this date a repair order can be issued, with further failure to comply leading to fines, imprisonment or both.
The Nylex Clock and wider Richmond Maltings site are of State heritage significance and are protected on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Richmond Maltings was established in the 1850s for brewing and malting grain for beer. The site consists of malt houses, stores, silos (including the illuminated Nylex sky sign and clock) and offices, and is of historical, scientific, aesthetic, social and archaeological significance to Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“We will fight to protect this much-loved Melbourne icon, which is part of our public history and immortalised in the music of Paul Kelly.”
“It is outrageous that this important site has been allowed to deteriorate and that’s why Heritage Victoria has taken action.”
Quote attributable to Steven Avery, Executive Director of Heritage Victoria
“It is extremely disappointing that fires and numerous acts of vandalism have led to damage to a heritage place of State significance. Failure to secure this site will lead to significant fines.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020