Protest meeting: Save Pentridge heritage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[By Martin Smith]  Rally at 11 am on this Saturday to help prevent even more of the social heritage of Pentridge Prison being destroyed. A plan to build a 19-storey apartment complex within the walls of the former Pentridge Prison has has been lodged over the Christmas vacation period.

Protest meeting
Say NO to 19-storey Pentridge tower Saturday, 16 January 11am Outside Boot Factory Café 19 Pentridge Boulevarde, Coburg

The Shayer Group developers want to build a 19-story residential tower in the Pentridge Prison precinct, right behind a guards’ watchtower. If this building is allowed to go ahead, it will totally dwarf the guards’ watchtower.

A massive amount of heritage from one of Australia’s earliest prisons has already been destroyed. The historic 19th century H-Division building was demolished in 2014 and holes being made in the prison wall in Champ S.

The permit application for the 19-storey building was lodged with Heritage Victoria just before Christmas with a 30 December deadline for public submissions. Heritage Victoria has now extended the deadline until the end of January after receiving many submissions.

The second problem with the 19-storey building proposal, is that it would be the tallest building in Moreland. This would set a precedent in a situation where residents have lost the right to appeal the height of new developments in the central Coburg area and where the planning minister made the building heights in central Coburg discretionary instead of mandatory. This means that there is no limit on the height of buildings in central Coburg.

Objections can be made to Heritage Victoria until the end of January.  Send to heritage.permits@delwp.vic.gov.au or PO Box 500, Melbourne Vic 8002.  The permit apllication numbers are: Permit Application VHR1551 HM Prison Pentridge and Permit Application P224644 to construct a residential apartment complex within a 19-storey and 9-storey plus associated works.

Rally supported by: Wills MP Kelvin Thomson, Felicit Watson (National Trust), Michael Hamel-Green (campaigner to preserve Pentridge Heritage), Save Coburg, and Moreland North-East ward councillor Sue Bolton.

For information: Sue Bolton 0417 583 664 or sbolton@moreland.vic.gov.au.