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Port Melbourne Railway Station

This week a Planning Panel has been meeting in Port Melbourne to hear submissions on the planning future of 1 – 7 Waterfront Place.

The relationship between the proposed development of that site and the Port Melbourne Railway Station is one of the matters being considered.

The building is on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) which lists places of significance to the state of Victoria. The City of Port Phillip heritage register lists places with local heritage significance. This reminds us that the Port Melbourne Railway Station is an important place for Victoria and the citation explains why:

“The former Port Melbourne Railway Station building is historically significant by association with the first public steam railway in Australia, and with the development and use of the Port Melbourne piers. The building played an important role in the history of the piers, in particular Station Pier, and in the social history of Melbourne with its association with the popular bay excursion trade.

The former Port Melbourne Railway Station building, which was rebuilt at a time when the function of the piers was expanding, is significant in demonstrating a critical change in the maritime activity of the Bayside area. Its significance is further enhanced by the fact that, unlike the piers, it has not been dramatically altered throughout the twentieth century. The former Port Melbourne Railway Station building is of architectural and historical significance as a distinctive building type, the only surviving representation within the metropolitan context of a small group of station buildings developed by the Victorian Railways Department following the 1890s depression. The significance is enhanced by the integrity of its building fabric.”1

Protection of the Port Melbourne Railway Station is now embedded in Amendment C104 of the Port Phillip Planning Scheme as follows:

“The integrity of the Station building should be maintained and enhanced as a standalone building, and new built form should be configured in response to this and other heritage influences.”

Further guidance is provided:

  • the scale and massing of any new development is to be sensitive to the heritage rail station and must demonstrate minimal visual impact when viewed from the 109 tram terminus
  • The location and form of new buildings must reinforce the heritage rail station as a ‘stand-alone’ building and provide a clear separation in building mass.
  • Development within 8 metres of the western site edge (rail station interface) must not exceed a maximum height of 3 storeys (and 11 metres)
  • The design response to heritage considerations should be subject to guidance and assessment by an experienced and reputable heritage architecure specialist.

1 Statement of Cultural Heritage Significance VHR HO983

Port Railway Station

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.