851 Burke Road Camberwell VIC 3124

Demolition of an existing building, use and development of a building comprising 59 dwellings, reduce the standard car parking requirement/loading bay facilities in a Heritage Overlay.

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website over 4 years ago. It was received by them 9 days earlier.

(Source: Boroondara City Council, reference PP15/01435)


Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Judy Brown commented

    Why do we have Heritage Overlays they are to protect the integrity of our city, yet developers constantly leave them in an abandoned state so that they can then say that they will improve the site by demolishing them. Any plans for this site should include preserving this wonderful historic facade.

    The next problem is the reduction of car parking facilities. We are Camberwell residents and Bourke Rd is grid lock most times of the day. Parking for shops, parking for restaurants or cinema of an evening, is at a premium. People drive to Camberwell Station to park to catch the train to the city, parking is at a premium with single fronted properties that have no parking and blocks of flats so why would council allow any further reduction to car parking requirements.

    Burke Rd is also further congested by trams and this developer also wants to reduce loading bay facilities. Do they want to take council parking space of the street and use those as their loading bay spaces.

    Council needs to draw up some more rules regarding developments and how they impact of residents and local communities. In some streets council allows several major works to be undertaken at the same time effectively closing local streets to the community. Developers and builders are making their own road rules and erecting road signs, diversion signs and causing chaos and OHS issues to the community. Some sort of ongoing assessment needs to be made by council.

  2. Dinny Birrell wrote to local councillor Jack Wegman

    To lose this beautiful façade of the old bank building which the owners have allowed to deteriorate over time, is an act of vandalism. Why do we have Heritage Overlays and standards when the council is not prepared to enforce them? Slowly we are losing all our history and heritage to greedy developers. This is the most historic, decorative and beautiful façade in the whole of the Camberwell Junction shopping precinct. If the owners are not prepared to look after these structures then a law ought to be introduced to force them to sell these properties, after five or less years, to people who will preserve them.

    The application to develop 59 dwellings and reduce standard car parking requirements and loading bay facilities in a Heritage overlay area should be denied. This is a vast over development which will overshadow and overlook residential housing to the west.

    Currently the traffic and parking in this area is congested all the time. Developers ought to be required to provide the required parking and loading bay requirements as these requirements are there for very good reason. Reduction of the required parking and loading bay requirements ought to be denied. The explosion in huge developments in the Hawthorn, Camberwell area has led to a great increase in traffic. There are also delays and detours with roads closed and hold ups for cranes, trucks and other requirements when developers build these oversize and sometimes low quality structures, as in the recent scandal of the use of highly inflammable cladding that did not meet Australian standards.

    Delivered to local councillor Jack Wegman. They are yet to respond.

  3. Wilma Buccella wrote to local councillor Jack Wegman

    I totally agree with everything Judy Brown and Dinny Birrell have stated. As a resident of 30 years it has been very concerning and upsetting to see the eroding of beautiful historic buildings in this area of Hawthorn/ Camberwell. This is why I chose to live in this area however I have been very disappointed by the decisions made by the Boroondara Council in relation to the very ugly overdevelopment of this area. It has also been distressing watching over the years the total disregard for beautiful facade of the once SSB bank. This is part of our heritage and should be retained. This is what people want to see when they travel the world the beautiful ornate architecture of the past. Imagine if the Colosseum in Rome had been allowed to be pulled down. What would we know of the past. Stop over developing the Burke Rd area which is becoming unattractive, congested and ugly. Protect our heritage. Be responsible not greedy.

    Delivered to local councillor Jack Wegman. They are yet to respond.

  4. Tanya Davies commented

    Each time the applicant submits a planning application, the development continues to get bigger and bigger and more and more compromises are sought for no benefit to the immediate area. A 9 storey plus basement car parking will significantly change the landscape of Burke Road and amounts to overdevelopment in an area that already has many high density residential developments (with more in the pipeline). Ingress/egress from either Harold Street or Mayston Street is haphazard at the best of times which a reduction in car parking requirements is not going to ease. The road infrastructure was never designed to cope with this many traffic movements. The current state of 851 Burke Road is an eyesore and a missed opportunity to show off some of Camberwell's heritage. As more shops become vacant and national retailers leave the high street, new reasons are needed to visit Burke Road. I support the development of this site but not at the further expense of the already limited amenity in the area for both current businesses and residents. I would welcome further information from the Boroondara Council about this development particularly the application documents being uploaded on the Planning Register.

  5. John Maidment commented

    This is a very significant bank facade designed by the noted architects Sydney Smith & Ogg in Romanesque revival style. With the former ES&A Bank (now the Meat and Wine Company) this is the most important architectural heritage item in the Burke Road shopping precinct. The firm also designed other bank buildings in Swan Street, Richmond, Yarraville, commercial buildings and hotels but this is the major example of its work in Boroondara. It is unthinkable that it should be demolished and could be sensitively retained within a development of the site.

  6. John C Templin wrote to local councillor Coral Ross

    I can not believe what the council has allowed to happen on Burke Road. This property had a previous permit application to create a boutique hotel. The property has been allowed to decay over the intervening years. Now there is another application to completely demolish the building and create a structure that will most likely be so out of keeping with the street frontage.
    The owners of this property have been allowed to leave it decay, now there is an application for development with a further reduction to parking required has been requested.
    The adjoining business has already expanded with the council granting parking concessions so that the area nearby is further impacted.
    When does the council finally have to answer to the majority of rate payers who live in the area because of the community feel that used to exist

    Photo of Coral Ross
    Coral Ross local councillor for Boroondara City Council
    replied to John C Templin

    Boroondara Council has received a new application for the development of this site, which will be considered following the required public notice period. The application includes both the Sofia's restaurant site and the adjacent State Savings Bank site.
    The application proposes to retain the existing State Savings Bank heritage façade.
    I agree that the current presentation of the State Savings Bank site is disappointing but there is no legislation which gives Council the authority or ability to take action in these circumstances. However, Council has ensured that the façade does not constitute a risk to public safety.

    Key aspects of the current application include:
    Demolition of the existing Sofia's Restaurant building
    Retention of the State Saving Bank façade
    Construction of a nine storey building (which includes three levels of basement parking);
    Ground floor of the building to accommodate a wine bar, café and a restaurant
    The remaining floors contain 59 dwellings including dwellings with 2 and 3 bedrooms, plus a penthouse of four bedrooms;
    Level 6 of the building includes a communal dining room and roof deck;
    There are 3 levels of basement parking with access from the western title boundary. The car park contains 84 car parking spaces.

    Coral Ross
    Gardiner Ward councillor
    City of Boroondara

  7. Terry Dear wrote to local councillor Jack Wegman

    This site has been in limbo for so long - I do think the owners should have been held to account for it's deterioration which has gone on for far too many years. It seems that this is a strategy that if you let a building languish for long enough without any attention then it will be deemed to have no heritage value as it is now delelict.
    I am astonished that a building listed on the National Trust is allowed to be demolished.
    It is irreplacable and whatever is proposed to replace it can in no way have more community or civic value than one of the few great facades left on this road. It is also an exemplar facade from this era from well known architects - surely one of the best examples of its kind. This has always been the criteria that is used - the best of the era.
    Are we to keep nothing from our past?
    Is another faceless apartment building with shops at street level and compromised parking really the best outcome from this site?
    The facade must be kept.
    To not keep it is an act of vandalism.

    Delivered to local councillor Jack Wegman. They are yet to respond.

  8. Mary Flynn commented

    Where are the application documents and why haven’t they been posted online? This is a significant development with significant ramifications and the reason behind this serious breach of transparency needs to be investigated. I will contact the Minister and relevant media/authorities to bring this matter (cover up) to their attention.

  9. Marcia wrote to local councillor Jack Wegman

    Absolutely no exemptions should be granted that contribute to the already severe lack of parking in the area. The proximity of public transport is not a reason for exemption because residents still have visitors who need parking spaces.
    Developers should not be allowed to let historic buildings deteriorate as a means to gain approval for their demolition. This is a beautiful frontage and needs to be preserved.
    We voted for councilors on the basis that they would prevent inappropriate development and so expect that they will improve the current severe parking shortages and prevent loss of historic buildings.

    Delivered to local councillor Jack Wegman. They are yet to respond.

  10. Dale Young wrote to local councillor Coral Ross

    In the Camberwell Junction Heritage review only 3 properties on Burke road were identified with a ‘significant heritage’ grading. One of these is number 851 (the other 2 are Palace Hotel and Camberwell Railway Station.) Any plans for this important historical site which does not include preservation of the historic façade is unthinkable and must be resisted.

    Despite the buildings shoddy uncared for appearance, there is no obvious indication that the structure is becoming unstable due to cracking or falling masonry etc. and therefore no justification for demolition on the basis of safety concerns.

    The developer is only the temporary custodian of this site and its history. He has a responsibility to ensure that future generations are not denied its significance.

    Delivered to local councillor Coral Ross. They are yet to respond.

  11. Meika Heidi commented

    Are you serious!!!
    As I former Mayors Granddaughter I'm disgusted and infuriated.
    The council wants to fine Darren & Dee Jolly for demolishing that awful house in Kew &
    Those crooks at Sophia's can happily and willingly poison people in the community via their deplorable food practices & I will add have been charged numerous times, can sell illegal drugs, also charged and now demolish protected buildings.....
    What's going on???

  12. Phil Sumner commented

    I am 26 years old and I (happily) live in a shared house in Deepdene. I find it distressing that many older buildings are being cleared in this area, including Art Deco and other examples of period architectural designs. These are irreplaceable. I understand that there is a balance needed between the re-development of brown-field sites to meet increasing demand and the preservation of heritage buildings, but this demolition proposal illustrates that there is a dire need for this balance to be restored. The government need to take more responsibility to keep these profit-motivated developments in check, as businesses never will.

  13. M. Martin commented

    Good luck , try lobbying the councillors, it doesn't work they have no powers, try VCAT, doesn't work they side with developers. Tragic.

  14. Lauren Arnett commented

    I am new to the area and live on Burke Hill. As I admire the buildings along the strip, I too have wondered about the devastating state of disrepair to the Bank Building. I have had a wander behind the facade and it is absolutely decayed (the pigeons like it though), not to mention the disgusting basement of Sofias which smells like years of rot. It is also a wonderful dumping ground for Sofia's old commercial kitchen/air conditioning units. A largely inviting place for homeless with dumped mattresses and couches. It's devastating to think what lies beneath these beautiful buildings. How dare developers disregard the site. It is an act of vandalism as other residents have stated.

    Also disappointing to see that nothing has been done in the 2 years since this application was posted. Whatever happens, this facade cannot be knocked down.

  15. Neil Coker commented

    I think a significant part of the facade should be kept and for 2 or 3 bedroom apartments allowed to built with parking underground parking for two places per apartment .

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