Media Releases 2011

Planning matters on the agenda next week

17 February 2011

Abbotsford Convent Yarra Council is expected to make decisions on two planning matters at a Special Council meeting next week.

Yarra Mayor Cr Alison Clarke said Council would be considering a permit application for the redevelopment of the Dimmeys site in Cremorne, and its response to Heritage Victoria on Sophia Mundi Steiner School’s proposal to construct a new classroom building at Abbotsford Convent.

Cr Clarke said community members were encouraged to attend the meeting, where they would be able to make verbal submissions before Council made each decision.

“There has been significant community interest in both proposals because the gorgeous Dimmeys building and beautiful Abbotsford Convent are treasured by our community,” Cr Clarke said.

Under the Dimmeys proposal from developer Richmond Icon Pty Ltd,  a 10-storey oval-shaped residential building would be constructed at the south-western corner of the site, over two basement levels. A total of 82 residential dwellings is proposed.  The Dimmeys clocktower and Swan Street facade would be retained and refurbished.

The applicant received permission from Heritage Victoria for the redevelopment last August. The proposal submitted to Council does differ from the Heritage Victoria approved development. For example, the height of the residential building has been lowered by one storey.

At next week’s meeting, Council will also be deciding upon its submission to Heritage Victoria about the heritage aspects of the proposal at Abbotsford Convent.

The proposal is to construct a single-storey building with five classroom modules in an area known as “the goat paddock”. The building would be used for a secondary school, and would be located near the Sophia Mundi Steiner primary school which has operated from the St Mary’s Building at the convent site since 2006.

At this stage, the Abbotsford Convent Foundation has made an application to Heritage Victoria to allow for construction of the building. Heritage Victoria’s permission is required because the Abbotsford Convent site is on the Victorian Heritage Register.

The proposal is not provided for in the approved master plan for the Abbotsford Convent site. If Heritage Victoria gives its approval, the applicant would then need to either:

  • Seek to amend the master plan to show the use or development proposed. The Minister for Planning would be responsible for determining whether the master plan should be amended (and would be required to seek comment from Council on the proposal), or
  • Apply to Council for a permit for use and development that is not in accordance with the master plan.

The Special Council meeting will be held at the Richmond Town Hall on Tuesday 22 February, from 6.30pm.


For media enquiries about this issue, please contact:
Ainslie Gowan
Coordinator - Communications
9205 5177 / 0400 933 700


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