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North Wharf plan to be assessed

04 Feb 2013

North Wharf plan to be assessed Image

By Bethany Williams

Heritage Victoria is assessing the historical considerations of the planned redevelopment of the heritage-listed Shed 5 and crane at North Wharf.

Asset 1 WTC wants to partially demolish Shed 5 to make way for a 13-storey office.

The developer has proposed to turn the rest of the shed into a retail arts precinct and create a public park to its east.

According to Heritage Victoria, Berth 5, where the shed and crane are located, is significant because it remains virtually unchanged since it fell into disuse after the closure of river access below the Charles Grimes Bridge in 1975.

A permit application for the redevelopment of the site was submitted to Heritage Victoria last year and was advertised for public comment in December.

The permit application was readvertised for comment in January after further information was added to the application.

Heritage Victoria is responsible for approving heritage permits required for the redevelopment to commence.

Berth 5 is located next to the historical Mission to Seafarers building, increasing the heritage considerations relevant to the development.

In a submission to Heritage Victoria, the Mission to Seafarers Victoria (MtSV) expressed concerns about the development with regard to the mission building.

Key concerns included the visibility of the mission building from the planned park and South Wharf and safe public access to the building.

“The Mission to Seafarers Victoria is working collaboratively with Asset 1 and Heritage Victoria at this time to ensure that historical considerations regarding the Shed 5 redevelopment protect the heritage interests of the Mission to Seafarers building complex,” MtSV CEO Andrea Fleming said.

Asset 1 WTC chief operating officer Gavin Boyd said the company had been in consultation with the mission since the conception of the redevelopment.

Mr Boyd agreed that the vision of the mission building from the park was a key issue.

He said the building was designed to frame the mission so that the view was not blocked.

Mr Boyd said the issue of safe public access to the building was still being worked through.

The City of Melbourne has also submitted feedback to Heritage Victoria regarding the redevelopment.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said City of Melbourne was supportive of the proposal to reinvigorate and utilise Shed 5.

“Currently the shed is derelict, but its development as a functional space will help to activate the area. In addition the preservation of the crane will further contribute to a contemporary interpretation of maritime heritage,” the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, the City of Melbourne had expressed some concerns regarding details of the proposed alterations to the northern and western facades of the shed

The public consultation period for the permit application closed on February 6.

However, Heritage Council of Victoria spokesperson Pauline Hitchins said as long as the application had not been finalised comments received would be considered.

Comments on the permit application must be submitted in writing to (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Heritage Victoria, GPO Box 2392, Melbourne, VIC 3000.

According to Ms Hitchins, a decision regarding the permit application is likely to be made in the next two months.

 

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