RHSV Statement regarding QVM Therry Street

Demolition threat to inter-War brick shops

The RHSV is particularly concerned at the proposal to demolish heritage buildings on Therry Street.

3 April 2018


Therry Street / Queen Victoria Market
Location: Melbourne 

Statement regarding
Melbourne City Council, Future Melbourne Planning Committee, 3 April 2018
Report to the Future Melbourne Planning Committee Agenda item 6.1
Ministerial Referral: TPMR-2018-2

The Royal Historical Society, peak body of 340 Victorian local historical societies, urges Melbourne City Council to face the music. Heritage Victoria has rightly ruled out that the proposed plan to underground facilities and construct aggressive modern intrusions throughout the historic sheds. The Planning Committee should defer any consideration of plans pending revision of plans for the whole site in the light of the Heritage Victoria ruling.

The RHSV is particularly concerned at the proposal to demolish heritage buidlings on Therry Street. As the report notes (§ 5.6, p. 59), ‘the Therry Street interface has the most sensitive heritage values, and is fundamental to the experience of the character, charm and amenity of the QVM’. That is why a heritage overlay applies to the row of inter-War, double-storey brick shops fronting Therry Street, opposite the historic deli and sheds. Nevertheless, the report casually proposes demolition of these shops. At the very least, the Planning Committee should refer the proposed demolition of heritage buidlings to the Council’s Heritage Committee.

The RHSV is also concerned that the report continues the discredited ‘fixed trading’/ reduce service intrusions’ strategy (§ 1.4, p. 16, Q2). This is code for a sanitized, characterless set of built in stalls, more resembling a food hall than a market. Community outrage over this transformation of the market’s character forced Council to retreat from this strategy in its PR, but it remains the aim.

The RHSV is further concerned that parking will be reduced: ‘the balance of existing customer car parking (217 spaces) will be relocated elsewhere in the precinct’ (§ 4.2, p. 40). Elsewhere? The only proposed parking elsewhere is in the underground service area, which will now not proceed (and which in any case would be taken up by traders’ vehicles).

(Professor) Charles Sowerwine,
Chair, Heritage Committee,
Royal Historical Society of Victoria.


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