Mini blocks spook Vincent

Vincent city council is spooked by a raft of new density measures which will see 120sqm blocks appearing in its heritage-rich suburbs.

Mayor Alannah MacTiernan warns the changes, imposed by the state government’s power planning mandarins, will be a huge threat to the area’s heritage streetscapes.

They will allow owners of 240sqm blocks to sub-divide and Ms MacTiernan fears a gold rush-style influx of developers keen to bowl over century-old homes. The changes come into effect on August 2.

“It has the potential to so fundamentally change the area in a very dramatic way and very quickly, that we must alert the community to it and we must engage them and find out how it is that they’d like us to respond,” Ms MacTiernan says.

More than 550 houses will be affected across character streets like Chatsworth Road, Carr Place, and parts of the Hyde Park Precinct.

“A great many of these houses which would be 100 years old plus, would now be vulnerable to development.

“I’ve proposed to write out to the affected people and let them know that this is coming up, and say there are a number of ways in which to approach it.

“One way would be to declare some of these areas heritage protected areas.

“It might mean a revisitation of the streetscape policy, it might be that we just get as many houses as we can onto the municipal heritage inventory.”

Ms MacTiernan added she’s not opposed to subdivision if the house being flattened isn’t a heritage building.

“Our concern is not to oppose the subdivision potential, but it is to say that we are concerned that will come at the broadscale demolition of some of our oldest heritage architecture.”

Letters to affected landowners and a public forum is planned for August.

by DAVID BELL

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