Council approves plan to demolish bowls club cottage for green space

Council approves plan to demolish bowls club cottage for green space
Brendan Rees

A weatherboard caretaker’s cottage next to the Princes Park Bowls clubrooms will be demolished to make way for open space after plans were approved by the City of Melbourne.

The site at 109 Bowen Crescent, Carlton North, is listed as a significant heritage place under the Heritage Places Inventory March 2022, however, the council confirmed this related to the cream brick clubhouse and not the caretaker’s cottage.

The planning application, approved by councillors at their Future Melbourne Committee meeting on September 6, seeks to demolish the caretaker’s cottage – which the council said would not remove any heritage fabric – and be replaced with new trees, landscaping, and a new timber fence.

The state government owns the site, but the City of Melbourne is the public land manager. As the demolition plan would be less than $1 million, no planning permit was required for buildings and works.

“Demolition of the weatherboard building, timber fence and concrete paving will not have an adverse impact on the heritage significance of the site, Princes Park or the Carlton heritage precinct,” a council report said.

Speaking at the council’s meeting, heritage portfolio lead Cr Rohan Leppert said while the cottage didn’t have heritage significance, there is “still a permit trigger under the heritage overlay” as the site was of heritage significance.

“However, it’s quite clear that the proposal before us faithfully implements the Princes Park Master Plan that we adopted in 2013,” he said.

“It will result in no net detriment to the heritage situation of the bowls club, but it will certainly provide a good opportunity for greening and biodiversity plantings which is going to have a significant public improvement to the site.”

“A permit should be issued so that the works can proceed.”

Under the plans, which attracted one objection, the proposal “will enhance the recreational and leisure function” of the Princes Park Bowls Club.

According to the council, the Princes Park Master Plan had been an important consideration in the development of the plans for the new open space for Princes Park Bowl Club.

“In particular, the improvements proposed for the northern section of the park. A key consideration has been the future plans to relocate the bowls club building to the south of the bowling green,” it said.

Councillor Davydd Griffiths, an avid bowler, welcomed the proposal as it had no impact the historical nature of the buildings and met the needs of the residents. The council issued public notice of the proposal via mail.

The Princes Park Bowls Club was contacted for comment. •


Caption: The weatherboard caretaker’s cottage which will be demolished.

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