VCAT here we come
After more than 12 months, many meetings, 153 objections and a refusal by council to grant a permit, the application for the corner of Royal Parade and Morrah St is being taken to VCAT by the developer to overturn the council’s decision.
The Parkville Association, together with many other residents, is fiercely opposed to building a “medical centre” and demolishing the majority of a building built pre-war with the main part being 100 years old in 2023.
With our Heritage overlay and residential zoning coupled with a plethora of dermatology specialists within a short walk from the proposed site we feel there is no need for a building that will dominate the historic entrance to our suburb, which Morrah St is, and where the first house built in 1873 still stands!
In my last column I wrote of the spirit of Parkville, which was evident at our Party in the Park. That same spirit has prevailed through objections and more importantly funding for our fight to retain the corner of Royal Parade and Morrah St. Royal Parade was also heritage-listed by the Parkville Association in 2009.
At this stage I would like to thank all our supporters and to let them know we will fight hard, as frankly any extension of the biomedical precinct which currently finishes on the southern side of Story St will take us back to the reason the association was formed in 1967.
As residents we fought then to stop several blocks of our fine Victorian properties being demolished. Parkville is one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in Australia, and certainly, Melbourne!
For those unaware South Parkville is celebrating its sesquicentenary this year. In fact, February sees the 150th anniversary of the granting of the liquor licence for Naughtons Hotel. Thank goodness for that as we all need a drink moving forward to the VCAT hearing from February 28 until March 2!
Talking of history there is great debate as to whether the City of Melbourne will reopen Grattan St to cars. For nearly seven years Grattan St has been closed for the construction of Parkville Station. When the plans were initially shared with us, the builders and the council guaranteed the street would be reopened! We are thrilled about the station, which will assist visitors to the hospitals, biomedical precincts and, very importantly, the university.
What the reopening of Grattan St will also do is to stop the build-up of traffic on Flemington Rd, some of the “rat running” through Parkville and reduce traffic levels on Gatehouse St, which in peak hours is a pollution emitting car park!
For residents of South Parkville, the queueing around College Crescent where in peak hours it can take 40 minutes to drive to Carlton, it would be a necessary blessing. For Carlton traders it will open the southern end of Lygon St which needs great support from us all.
This month the council’s Future Melbourne Committee is returning to Parkville, and I will again be raising the unanswered question from last year about when Grattan St is fully reopening! This is very important as the reinstatement works have now begun.
Enough of my ramblings, time to wade through the emails of support and the plans for our VCAT attendance! Wish us luck and hope we successfully retain the wonderful ambience of our beautiful residential suburb!