The Melbourne City Council’s concept plans for Melbourne’s iconic Victoria Market is nothing but a land grab that fails to deliver any benefit to the city, the people of Victoria or the interests of the market traders.
The existing car parking site to the South of the Market sheds needs development but it needs to have civic focus and not a high rise residential complex.
The height of the development on this site should not be allowed to exceed the height of the neighbouring Nonda Katsalidis Equus, Mondo, Roma and Fortuna Terrace Apartments building at the corner of Franklin and Queen Street or the height of the Market historic sheds.
The site should facilitate an underground car park servicing the market and a cluster of laneway shops, dry goods store that complement the Market community services.
The market should also be able to trade 7-days a week with unrestricted times. Bring back wholesale local farmers produce, some bric and brac, second hand goods, local produce and reinstate the vitality it once had.
Remove the Italian house of leather from occupying a predominate spot that brings down the overall appeal of the Market. Bring back Punch and Judy and other community theatrical events. Turn it back into a market of authentic ethnicity. This can be done now without redevelopment.
The worst aspect of the design concept, developed by Rob “Bamboo” Adams, is the proposed extension of Franklin Street to link up with Dudley Street.
It does not need a park, there is the Flagstaff Gardens nearby and it certainly does not need a road dividing it in half If anything it should be an open hard edge public space full of activities and events. The site could have an underground link to Flagstaff Garden’s railway station
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s talk of the Markets redevelopment being the Federation Square of the West is a joke. Clearly the design concept plan is no Federation Square.