Heritage protection in Carlton edges a step closer
New heritage protection for a number of Carlton buildings is a step closer, after the City of Melbourne considered submissions from local groups and institutions as part of its Carlton Heritage Review.
After a range of requests from submitters, the council agreed to recommend that two properties, at 38 Dorrit Street and 153 Drummond Street, were recategorised to reflect their contribution to local cultural heritage.
It also agreed to recommend a “social significance” tag be applied to the John Curtin Hotel on Lygon Street.
The council will now send its updated recommendations through to an independent panel appointed by the Planning Minister for approval, bringing the overall amendment (termed “C405”) closer to incorporation within the planning scheme.
The Carlton Heritage Review, which commenced in 2018 and was undertaken by Lovell Chen Heritage Consultants (as commissioned by the City of Melbourne), recommended that 24 new places were granted heritage protection.
This included the former Children’s Hospital building, Lincoln Square, the Chinese Church of Christ, a former manufacturing building at RMIT University and, more controversially, the Royal Women’s Hospital car park on Grattan St.
City of Melbourne councillors unanimously endorsed the recommendations in November 2021.
Speaking at an August 16 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, Lord Mayor Sally Capp commended the latest contributions from locals.
“I’m calling out a couple of submissions in particular, one from the Carlton Residents Association, and as a result we’ve made some changes to the heritage classification of several properties following their feedback,” she said.
“We’re grateful for the time and effort they put in to ‘stress-test’ the team’s work overall and make some further suggestions.”
She also noted submissions from the National Trust and Music Victoria regarding the John Curtin Hotel.
Cr Capp said the review had “already been a significant process”, and was looking forward to the heritage protections being signed off.
“Like many people I certainly enjoy walking around the Carlton neighbourhood and seeing that juxtaposition of heritage and modern, and protecting that heritage story is important,” she said.
The sentiment was reiterated by Councillor Davydd Griffiths.
“It was fantastic to walk along Lygon Street this morning and to see the energy and excitement that’s returning to that street; new coffee shops, among other things. But to see those placed in the context of some wonderful heritage buildings [was great].”
As part of the Carlton Heritage Review, 52 places are recommended for “interim” heritage protection while permanent controls were being progressed, something Cr Capp noted the council was still waiting on from the state government.
“I note we’ve got a new [Planning] Minister,” she said.
“So we are urging the minister to approve those controls as soon as possible so that there can be certainty whilst we wait on the permanent controls to come through.”
A large portion of Carlton is already protected under “HO1”, the largest and oldest heritage overlay within the City of Melbourne.
Initial heritage studies of the local area in the 1980s identified almost exclusively Victorian and Edwardian era architecture that warranted protection within planning controls.
However this recent study, which commenced in 2018 and concluded in 2021, reviewed the integrity of these existing controls while also considering interwar, postwar and postmodern buildings.
“Together, these reflect the unique, diverse urban character of Carlton,” according to the City of Melbourne.
Although not located within Carlton, Amendment C405 also includes reinstating heritage protection for the Punt Road Oval on a permanent basis.
In May the council approved a controversial plan to knock down the historic Jack Dyer Stand as part of the Punt Rd Oval redevelopment, despite heritage groups voicing their opposition. •