Mental block

UGLY empty blocks are in the sights of Vincent mayor Emma Cole.

She wants to stop the demolition of houses that leaves some streets looking like broken-toothed smiles.

Up until 2015 developers needed planning approval before councils would let them knock down an existing house. The state government scrapped that rule and houses that might have heritage potential—but haven’t yet been reviewed or listed—can now be flattened.

• Vincent mayor Emma Cole at the Vincent Street block that was legally demolished in April. Photo by Steve Grant

Another concern is that people can clear-fell a whole block, getting rid of trees and the house, creating increasingly nullarborous suburbs.

Vincent council’s been calling for the state government to reintroduce the old “approval- first” demolition rule, but in the meantime Ms Cole wants to look at other options to stop the bulldozing, saying she’s aware that means challenge state rules.


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