Update - 21 June 2023

At the June 2023 Council Meeting, Council voted to abandon a recommendation to adopt Amendment C172, which would have seen new planning controls introduced to protect eight heritage precincts in West Footscray and surrounding parts of Footscray and Maidstone.

Council will now notify the Minister for Planning in writing of Council’s decision and reasons for abandoning Amendment C172, and request the Minister for Planning prepare and approve an amendment to the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme to remove the interim Heritage Overlay that was applied to precincts via Amendment C173.

For more information, head to the Amendment C172 webpage.

After the community expressed a desire to retain neighbourhood character during the preparation of the West Footscray Neighbourhood Plan 2018, Council engaged heritage consultants to undertake a detailed study and analysis to inform the West Footscray Inter-war and Post-war Heritage Precinct Study 2021.

The study focused on houses and streetscapes built as part of multi-lot subdivisions and project home developments between 1915 and 1970.

It found eight potential precincts where properties reflecting this Inter-war and Post-war period of architecture can be found. These property precincts are reflective of the golden age of the 'Great Australian Dream' - when people settled down prior to and following both World Wars.

Residential architecture during Inter-war and Post-war periods can be seen as a tangible marker of cultural change, reflecting the story of waves of settlement in the City of Maribyrnong.

To preserve this architectural story of change, Council is proposing a change to the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme, to provide a heritage overlay for these precincts under Amendment C172.

This would remove some requirements for a permit to undertake works on properties, whilst also formalising the need to assess whether a permit is required for works that may affect the architectural integrity of homes within any of the eight precincts.

Interim heritage protection (Amendment C173) was approved by the Minister for Planning last December to prevent any loss of heritage character and values while Council seeks feedback on the proposed amendment to the Planning Scheme.

The places assessed during the course of the West Footscray Inter-War and Post-War Study were generally constructed between 1915 and 1970 (the inclusion of 1960-1970 reflects the continuation of similar Post-war housing design into this decade).

There is an understanding that elaborate bungalows, with generous proportions and decorative bay windows, gable ends and verandahs contain valued heritage character. However, residential areas built during the Second World War and in the years following the war are less well known for their heritage significance. There is an emerging recognition of the contribution these places make.

The study included a focus on houses and streetscapes which were built as part of multi-lot subdivisions and project home developments. These include development by local builders such as Anders Hansen and others, largely without the aid of known architects.

The free-standing bungalows which were constructed at this time, are representative of an important period in the City’s development and a recognisable housing type reflecting community tastes, historical circumstances and the development of post-war suburban Melbourne. These places have accumulated cultural heritage values and over time the appreciation and recognition of their heritage value will grow.

By the time the austerity period was over in the 1960s, the houses such as those constructed in the Laughtons Precinct, became more elaborate with decorative brickwork and chimneys, and wrought iron balustrades and grille columns. They also often have matching brick fences and garages. These designs reflect a more optimistic and positive period, and the effect of Post-war migration.

The proposed amendment applies to the eight precincts identified on the below map.

The proposed heritage precincts are:

  • HO211 - Bottomley’s Paddock Inter-war and Post-war Residential Precinct
  • HO212 - Centennial & Duke Streets Inter-war and Post-war Residential Precinct
  • HO213 - Hansen Inter-war Residential Precinct
  • HO214 - Laughton’s Post-war Housing Precinct
  • HO215 - Naismith & McCubbin Streets Inter-war Housing Precinct
  • HO216 - Summerhill Road Inter-war and Post-war Housing Precinct
  • HO217 - Tottenham Post-war Industrial Area Housing Precinct
  • HO218 - West Footscray Inter-war and Post-war Residential Precinct

For detailed information on the precincts included in the amendment, refer to the Amendment C172 webpage.

The amendment proposes to apply a permanent heritage overlay to the eight precincts identified in the West Footscray Inter-war and Post-war Heritage Precinct Study March 2021 (Heritage Alliance).

Key changes to the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme include:

  • Incorporate Statements of Significance and Heritage Design Guidelines in the Heritage Scheme
  • Introduce the West Footscray Inter-war and Post-war Heritage Precinct Study March 2021 (Heritage Alliance) as Background Documents
  • Update the Permit Exemptions in the Heritage Precinct Incorporated Plan July 2021 to include the identified heritage precincts
  • Rezone properties in the precincts from General Residential Zone to Neighbourhood Residential Zone
  • Insert a new Schedule 2 to the Neighbourhood Residential Zone
  • Rezone 39 Dempster Street, West Footscray from General Residential Zone to Public Park and Recreation Zone
  • Amend the Housing Framework Plan in Clause 21.07 in the Municipal Strategic Statement to identify the precincts and limited change areas.

This would mean:

  • Replacing the interim heritage overlay with permanent controls
  • Some land would be rezoned to limit the height of new buildings
  • The precincts would be treated as Limited Change Areas where housing growth is minimised and only low scale developments supported
  • Heritage design guidelines would be introduced
  • Permit exemptions would allow owners to carry out routine repairs and maintenance
  • A planning permit would be required to demolish, alter or extend existing buildings or construct a new one

For more information on the proposed changes please visit the Amendment C172 webpage here.