Thursday, May 30, 2024

Brakes pulled on Kingston’s call for train station heritage protection

Kingston Council’s call for heritage protection for the historic Parkdale Train Station buildings has been refused by the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Kingston Mayor, Steve Staikos said Council was deeply disappointed by the decision that leaves “the important focal point of the Parkdale village unprotected”.

“With the Level Crossing removal works imminent, Council had hoped to have a Heritage Overlay put in place to protect important historic buildings and irreplaceable trees at Parkdale Station,” Mayor Staikos said.

An expert heritage assessment of Parkdale Train Station, which opened in 1919, found the station had heritage value because it is the last of the ‘Parkdale-style’ station buildings; design and planning of the original station is still evident; and contributing landscaping remains – including the Canary Island palms.

Council had applied to the Victorian Minister for Planning in April 2022 for permission to begin the process to add a Heritage Overlay to the Kingston Planning Scheme, but this process has been refused.

Parkdale Railway Station 1919 (Photo: Courtesy La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria).

Mayor Staikos said Council had developed enhanced plans for the Mentone-Parkdale Level Crossing Removal Project that would secure improved community spaces and retain key elements of Parkdale’s character including the heritage station buildings.

“Council’s plan was developed in partnership with the community and offered a solution that did not compromise the delivery of the Level Crossing Removal, or the building of the new station, but allowed the community to keep some if its important history.”

Melaleuca Ward Councillor, Tim Cochrane said the community had shown strong support for
preserving the heritage buildings and relocating them close to their current site.

“In a community survey on the project more than 60% supported Council’s request for the Victorian Government to preserve and relocate the heritage station buildings,” Cr Cochrane said.

“Our community is already deeply concerned about the impact that the Level Crossing Removal works will have on the village atmosphere of Parkdale. This decision is deeply troubling, and casts further doubt on whether Parkdale’s unique character will be taken into consideration during this major project.

“The Level Crossing Removal Project has a responsibility to be aware and respond to local character, particularly in such a sensitive location as Parkdale,” he said.

Latest Articles