Melbourne’s Hidden Verandah Policy

Melbourne City Council Veranda Policy – 
click to view pdf scans

In 1995 the City of Melbourne commissioned Meridith Gould Architects to write a report on Lygon Street’s Verandahs.

The report was later adopted by the City of Melbourne as policy but soon forgotten.  Copies of the report can not be found on the Council web site and is not mentioned in Melbourne Strategic Planning scheme. (Scanned copy available here)

The report was written following efforts by Rob Adams’s urban design team to build above footpath balconies in Lygon Street – a move that would have seen Carlton’s heritage destroyed.   Two above footpath verandah’s were approved before the policy could be implemented.

The space above the footpath is public property and if owners or traders wanted to out door alfresco dining they need to build them within their building envelope and not expand over the footpath.

Meridith Gould in her research uncovered some interesting historical facts about Lygon Street verandahs and provided some good design options that could be considered. Her report is well worth reading and should be the model for ongoing heritage preservation and restoration of Melbourne’s Victorian Street-scapes. Thankfully Rob Adams’s urban design team did not get their way and the damage inflicted on Lygon Street was halted in time before the rot set in.

Following the publication and launch of the Gould report the City of Melbourne at the bequest of Kevin Gosper made available low interest loans to encourage Lygon Street owners and traders to repair or reinstate Victorian heritage verandahs. A policy that had wide community support but has since been forgotten or overlooked by the City Council and Town Planners. 

Missing but not forgotten – Melbourne’s heritage worth preservingWhat happened to Melbourne’s veranda policy?

What ever happened to Melbourne’s veranda policy?
The City of Melbourne in response to community concern at the need to protect and restore Melbourne’s inner city Victorian streetscapes commissioned heritage architect Meredith Gould to develop a veranda policy. The policy document written by Ms Gould was well received and supported by the City Council who adopted the document as a planning guideline for Melbourne’s future development.

Prior to the adoption of this policy City of Melbourne’s Rob Adams wanted to approve the construction of a number of private balconies above the foot path in Lygon Street. Rob Adams had approved similar balconies in Swanston Street. (Swanston Street’s Victorian verandas were removed, in the lead-up to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, as part of its modernisation programme.)
The construction of above the footpath balconies would have been the death of Lygon Street’s Victorian streetscape as historic verandas would have be demolished to make way for Rob’s folly in urban design and town planning.

Thankfully we were in a position at the time to put a halt to this act of vandalism proposed by the City of Melbourne’s Urban Design department.
The policy document produced by Meredith Gould saw the City of Melbourne take a more positive and constructive approach to preserving Melbourne’s architectural history which has since seen a number of Lygon street’s heritage verandas restored, adding to the ambiance of this world famous tourist precinct.

Strangely the Council’s policy document can not be found anywhere on the City Council’s web site. Missing but not forgotten. Could it be that Rob Adams is just bidding his time hoping that the community will forget about this policy document that was incorporated into Melbourne’s Planning scheme would be forgotten so he could yet again propose the destruction of Melbourne’s Victorian heritage?

We call on the City Council to publish this document along with other planning guidelines on it web site without delay.

Missing but not forgotten – Melbourne’s heritage worth preservingWhat happened to Melbourne’s veranda policy?

What ever happened to Melbourne’s veranda policy?
The City of Melbourne in response to community concern at the need to protect and restore Melbourne’s inner city Victorian streetscapes commissioned heritage architect Meredith Gould to develop a veranda policy. The policy document written by Ms Gould was well received and supported by the City Council who adopted the document as a planning guideline for Melbourne’s future development.

Prior to the adoption of this policy City of Melbourne’s Rob Adams wanted to approve the construction of a number of private balconies above the foot path in Lygon Street. Rob Adams had approved similar balconies in Swanston Street. (Swanston Street’s Victorian verandas were removed, in the lead-up to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, as part of its modernisation programme.)
The construction of above the footpath balconies would have been the death of Lygon Street’s Victorian streetscape as historic verandas would have be demolished to make way for Rob’s folly in urban design and town planning.

Thankfully we were in a position at the time to put a halt to this act of vandalism proposed by the City of Melbourne’s Urban Design department.
The policy document produced by Meredith Gould saw the City of Melbourne take a more positive and constructive approach to preserving Melbourne’s architectural history which has since seen a number of Lygon street’s heritage verandas restored, adding to the ambiance of this world famous tourist precinct.

Strangely the Council’s policy document can not be found anywhere on the City Council’s web site. Missing but not forgotten. Could it be that Rob Adams is just bidding his time hoping that the community will forget about this policy document that was incorporated into Melbourne’s Planning scheme would be forgotten so he could yet again propose the destruction of Melbourne’s Victorian heritage?

We call on the City Council to publish this document along with other planning guidelines on it web site without delay.

Missing but not forgotten – Melbourne’s heritage worth preservingWhat happened to Melbourne’s veranda policy?

What ever happened to Melbourne’s veranda policy?
The City of Melbourne in response to community concern at the need to protect and restore Melbourne’s inner city Victorian streetscapes commissioned heritage architect Meredith Gould to develop a veranda policy. The policy document written by Ms Gould was well received and supported by the City Council who adopted the document as a planning guideline for Melbourne’s future development.

Prior to the adoption of this policy City of Melbourne’s Rob Adams wanted to approve the construction of a number of private balconies above the foot path in Lygon Street. Rob Adams had approved similar balconies in Swanston Street. (Swanston Street’s Victorian verandas were removed, in the lead-up to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, as part of its modernisation programme.)
The construction of above the footpath balconies would have been the death of Lygon Street’s Victorian streetscape as historic verandas would have be demolished to make way for Rob’s folly in urban design and town planning.

Thankfully we were in a position at the time to put a halt to this act of vandalism proposed by the City of Melbourne’s Urban Design department.
The policy document produced by Meredith Gould saw the City of Melbourne take a more positive and constructive approach to preserving Melbourne’s architectural history which has since seen a number of Lygon street’s heritage verandas restored, adding to the ambiance of this world famous tourist precinct.

Strangely the Council’s policy document can not be found anywhere on the City Council’s web site. Missing but not forgotten. Could it be that Rob Adams is just bidding his time hoping that the community will forget about this policy document that was incorporated into Melbourne’s Planning scheme would be forgotten so he could yet again propose the destruction of Melbourne’s Victorian heritage?

We call on the City Council to publish this document along with other planning guidelines on it web site without delay.