■ 1 Harcourt Street, Hawthorn
This exceptionally large estate was proposed for a two lot subdivision in 2018. The site is a corner lot and the proposal was to create a new lot and house accessible from Harcourt Street in the area occupied by the swimming pool and tennis court. The site was within a standard residential zone and much larger than its direct neighbours.
One month after the planning application, the director of planning applied to the state government to have the property added to the state heritage register as an emergency listing. This measure saw the site listed of state significance to the heritage of Victoria and replaced council as the decision maker with the Director of Heritage for the state government. The result of this action was that our client had to make a separate application to Heritage Victoria for support of the subdivision. Once the site was heritage listed, a heightened level of assessment and information is required to be submitted for the application to be supported.
Council’s decision to apply to the state government for a heritage listing of the property within weeks of receiving the subdivision application was a source of great disappointment for our client. Rather than appeal the listing of the property on the state heritage registrar we accepted the listing and then worked with the state government on the design of the new dwelling to respect the significant heritage features of the property. The result was the new development was nestled behind the existing heritage building with no visible vantage points from the public realm. It was a long consultation and negotiation process with the state government but this is common place for our team’s projects and we know how to navigate the system successfully for contentious developments.