Walker Corporation withdraws its high-rise Heritage Permit Appeal: Public Hearing Cancelled

Wooden Horse

Wooden Horse

The Heritage Council of Victoria has cancelled the final day of their Kew Cottages appeal Public Hearing that was scheduled to be held tomorrow Friday 6th May 2016. The cancellation follows Walker Corporation’s sudden withdrawal of their Permit appeal to the Heritage Council. (Link: here)

Kew Cottages Coalition President, Brian Walsh, said today,”There has been an enormous amount of public opposition to Walker’s proposal. The message is clear. ‘Building high-rise on Melbourne parkland is just not on.’

“It appears now that Walker Corporation finally realised they were not going to win their appeal to the Victorian Heritage watchdog. So they have made a sensible decision to withdraw.

“I sincerely hope the Andrews Government has also made a sensible decision, and told both Walker and Major Projects Victoria (MPV) to stop wasting more time, and to now just get on with the job of properly restoring the State Heritage listed buildings and parkland at Kew Cottages before the Government Contract with Walker Corporation expires in October this year.

“It is time for MPV and Walker to finally deliver on the Government’s long standing State Heritage commitments at Kew Cottages, for the sake of all Victorians” Mr. Walsh said.

Background.
Last year Sydney based developer, Walker Corporation, was refused heritage approval to build blocks of high-rise apartments on the parkland next to Main Drive Kew and Willsmere.

Walker appealed the decision to the Heritage Council. The Council appointed a Panel to hear Walker’s Appeal. Public Hearings commenced, and were due to resume in February. However, Walker claimed that it wasn’t getting a fair hearing. Walker applied for the Heritage Council to be reconstituted, and for the whole Appeal process to be re-started.

On 24 February 2016, the day after the Progress Leader broke this story, a packed Public Meeting at the Kew Civic Centre called on the Andrews Government “to direct Walker Corporation to withdraw its application for the Heritage Council to be reconstituted.”

On March 10 2016 the Heritage Council announced that it had rejected Walker’s application for the Panel to be reconstituted, reset the Permit Appeal Public Hearing date to 6th May, and requested final submissions be lodged by 28th April.

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