Excellent news! VCAT today upheld Banyule Council’s refusal to grant a permit for a function centre at Banyule Homestead in Heidelberg. The VCAT decision highlighted the significance of Banyule Homestead and the many problems with parking, noise etc. engendered by the operation of a function centre in a quiet neighbourhood area. The neighbours really took the running on presenting a well-founded, disciplined campaign, and the Council support was staunch. They are certainly to be congratulated.
Those of us who submitted objections to the proposed use of Banyule Homestead as a wedding venue received welcome news from Heritage Victoria recently. The owners have withdrawn their application, for now at least.
A good article today in the local newspaper about Banyule Homestead quoting (ahem) Yours Truly, who doesn’t represent the Heidelberg Heritage Society, but DOES represent the Heidelberg Historical Society.
Five million eh? Given the money that the Council is going to put towards the arts ‘space’ on Banksia Street, thereby stealing public parkland for a restaurant and carpark with an arts ‘space’ attached, five million is a good buy, I reckon. I’m always worried by anything that is planned that has ‘space’ attached to the title.
I note with some concern that the advertisement refers to “scope for a 3/4 lot land sub-division (STCA). “ I hope that any new buyer of Banyule Homestead knows that it is a property loved and valued by many, many people in the community. My dearest wish is that the new purchaser nurtures the property in its entireity as a landmark of Melbourne, splendid in its surroundings.
For more about Banyule Homestead, visit my other blog at
On 29, 30 and 31st May the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard the case between Banyule Management PL and Banyule CC. The developers challenged Council’s refusal of a permit to build three townhouses on the southern end of the Banyule Homestead site.
We received notification of the decision today. The chairman, S. R. Cimino concluded:
I accept that the subject land presents some opportunity for increased development over the southern part of the land. However, the land is subject to heritage and environmental constraints. In this case, the proposal fails to respond appropriately to its context. I suspect that too much development is proposed over the southern part of the land. A reduced development which provides for an appropriate setback from the homestead and escarpment boundary, suitable landscaping and does not present unreasonable visual bulk to the rear open space of 58 Buckingham Drive is required.
I will affirm the Council’s decision. The permit application is refused.
The VCAT hearing over the subdivision of Banyule Homestead is scheduled for Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st May at VCAT, 55 King Street Melbourne, commencing at 10.00 a.m.
VCAT hearings are open to the public.
The case has been brought by Banyule Management Pty Ltd to challenge Banyule Council’s refusal to grant a permit to subdivide the grounds surrounding the homestead in order to build three luxury townhouses. In the photograph above, the townhouses will be built to the left of the homestead.
After the hearing, the approximate waiting time for a written decision is 4-6 weeks.
My other blog, BanyuleHomestead gives more information about Banyule Homestead, a pre-gold rush mansion that is too important to Victoria’s history to be compromised by inappropriate development.
As you may recall, I am interested in the history of Banyule Homestead, one of the few pre-gold rush mansions still standing in Melbourne. My sister blog, BanyuleHomestead is exploring different aspects of Banyule Homestead’s history. Joseph Hawdon, who built the homestead in the 1840s, was one of the candidates for the first election to the Legislative Council of New South Wales. You can read about his election tilt here.