Victorian government steps in to ‘protect’ Preston Market

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Victorian government steps in to ‘protect’ Preston Market

Preston Market

State Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny has considered advice from an independent advisory committee on the draft plan for the future of the market precinct, which found that there is a strong strategic justification for the plan – but that more work is needed to protect the historical, aesthetic, technical and social significance of the market.

New planning controls, including a Heritage Overlay, will now be introduced to “protect” Preston Market’s heritage and “put beyond any doubt the importance of the market to the community”, the government stated.

A precinct-specific Development Plan Overlay will be introduced, meaning any future development proposal must consider the Heritage Overlay and Development Plan Overlay and show how the market will be protected.

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The Heritage Overlay will provide certainty on the features of the market that must be preserved if any development is to occur. Importantly, it will ensure that a significant proportion of the existing market is retained.

Height controls will be specified in line with the committee’s findings that mid-rise development is appropriate, with a context plan prepared to guide future development and give the community certainty on the precinct.

Preston Market is a thriving place that has been a social and cultural landmark in Melbourne’s north since the 1970s – with special significance for the local and broader community, particularly Melbourne’s multicultural and migrant communities.

“We’re protecting the Preston Market and ensuring it remains a social and cultural landmark for the community – and preserving its history for future generations to enjoy,” Kilkenny said.

“I want to thank every member of the community who has taken the time to have their say on this important landmark in Melbourne’s north. We have heard that preserving the market is a priority, and that’s what we’ll deliver.”

It has been identified as a strategic development site – close to Preston Station and within the Preston High Street Major Activity Centre. The precinct has a key role to play in providing housing and employment opportunities.

The Minister will introduce a planning scheme amendment in the coming months to give effect to these changes. It will be up to a proponent to prepare a plan that complies with these new requirements to receive planning approval for a development.

The amendment will also include an Activity Centre Zone, Development Contributions Plan Overlay, Environmental Audit Overlay and a Parking Overlay to help implement the Committee’s recommended planning controls.

The government noted that the outcome is testament to the contribution of many members of the community throughout the process – at trader meetings, stakeholder sessions, market pop-ups, workshops, kitchen table discussions and those who provided feedback online or who contacted the government directly.

Visit the Preston Market website here.