Shops plan changed to save heritage

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THE shop facades which will be retained in Main St, Mornington.

A POTENTIAL loss of heritage was taken into consideration in assessing a permit application to redevelop a group of shops in Main St, Mornington.

This has resulted in three shopfronts being retained rather than demolished and a fourth relocated.

Initially the four shops, at 55-61 Main St, were slated to be demolished, but three will now remain and the fourth “largely retained, but moved to a similar shopfront position inside the new arcade”.

This follows a 346-signature petition asking Mornington Peninsula Shire to stop the development of a three-storey shopping arcade, basement carpark, offices and apartments.

The council’s Monday 27 March agenda, under petitions and letters, says signatories believed the planned redevelopment would “destroy the uniqueness and ambience of the precinct, and cast shadows over Main St”.

Shire principal planner Krystal Blizzard said a planning permit was granted last October to redevelop the existing building into a three-storey mixed use building.

“Heritage concerns were taken into account during the assessment of the proposal,” she stated. “The applicant initially intended to demolish the existing shopfronts.

“Discussions with the applicant during the assessment phase led to a revised design solution. Instead of losing all of the shopfronts as originally proposed, three will now remain in situ, and the fourth one will largely be retained, but relocated to a similar shopfront position in the new arcade.

“This was considered to be an acceptable approach to address concerns over the loss of this heritage fabric at street level.”

The mayor Cr Bev Colomb said a lot of work had gone into retaining the shop fronts under the shire’s structure plan.

“The aim is to retain the feel of Main St,” she said. “Those conditions have been built into the permit.”

KOH Living director Tui Cordemans , who organised the petition, said the revised permit was “great news”.

“Nobody wanted it [the proposed development]; the locals were disgusted that the council was going to approve it.

“Mornington is a great little town, and the tourists who come here love our preserved heritage. It’s fantastic.”

First published in the Mornington News – 4 April 2017

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