Princess Mary Club is still standing

CBD residents opposed to the demolition of the Princess Mary Club in Lonsdale St remain confident of success.

Developer Leighton Properties wants to demolish the building to make way for a 33-storey commercial tower on the site.

The Wesley Historic Precinct Action Group (WHPAG) reports that Heritage Victoria is organising a peer review of a report from the developer on the condition of the building.

“Leightons are claiming that the building is too far gone to the saved, but we know that that’s not true,” said WHPAG spokesperson Maureen Capp.

“We’ve asked Heritage Victoria to send their own engineers to check out the Princess Mary Club,” she said.

Ms Capp said, once the condition of the building was established, Heritage Victoria has a further 53 days to make a decision.

The action group has also written to the City of Melbourne opposing an application by the Wesley United Church to consolidate seven titles on the site into three.

In a letter to the council WHPAG said: “Given the background to the site, and the fact that there is a town planning permit application in process with Heritage Victoria and the Minister for Planning, Wesley Historic Precinct Action Group (WHPAG) wishes to object to the above proposed Town Planning Permit application No TP-2015-648.”

“There is no doubt there is more than one purpose behind the request for TP-2015-648.  However, the immediate purpose would appear to be to create an easement (E2) preparatory to the construction of the development currently proposed for the site.  WHPAG strongly contends that the title consolidation and easement creation, if proceeded with at this time, are inappropriate, and should be undertaken only in the context of agreed plans.”

“It is argued that the creation of the three titles would not be subject to controversy if the applicant did not have a proposed development before the authorities, seeking planning permits.”

“If planning permits were to be issued some months into the future (and it is stressed that this is not guaranteed), then that will be the appropriate time to consider consolidation of titles in the context of the agreed plans.”

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