Media Releases 2011
Council objects to proposal for new school building at Abbotsford Convent
23 February 2011
Yarra Council will advise Heritage Victoria that it opposes the construction of a classroom building at the Abbotsford Convent site.
The Abbotsford Convent Foundation has applied to Heritage Victoria for permission to construct the building, which would be used by the Sophia Mundi Steiner School, in an area known as “the goat paddock”.
Heritage Victoria, whose permission is required because the Abbotsford Convent site is on the Victorian Heritage Register, asked for Council’s comments on the heritage aspects of the proposal.
Yarra Mayor Cr Alison Clarke said Council had decided at a Special Council meeting last night to advise Heritage Victoria that it does not support the proposed building in the proposed location.
“Council supports the ongoing preservation of the goat paddock as open space,” Cr Clarke said.
“We don’t want the existing open views between the convent, bike path and Collingwood Children’s farm to be ruined,” she said.
“We believe the open space and the open views contribute to the historic rural setting of the convent, and should be preserved for future residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Cr Clarke said Council sympathised with the Sophia Mundi Steiner School’s struggle to find a new location for its secondary school, following the sale of its current site in Nicholson Street, Abbotsford.
“We appreciate the dilemma faced by the school community, but we have to come down on the side of what is best for the wider community,” Cr Clarke said.
Cr Clarke will seek a meeting with the Abbotsford Convent Foundation CEO and the Collingwood Children’s Farm Manager to discuss how the convent’s future direction can be shared with and communicated with other stakeholders in the precinct.
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