A thriving Preston Market is vital for this community and last night the Darebin City Council reiterated its commitment to preserving the long-term viability of Preston Market.
Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf said Preston Market is a part of the fabric of the local community and woven through the lives of so many who live, work and visit here.
“We love Preston Market and we are deeply committed to see it continue to operate and thrive into the future,” she said.
“There are several ways Council can help to achieve this, including working with the Victorian Planning Authority to review the planning controls for the site.
“Our aim is to ensure Council is a strong voice when advice is given to the Minister on the most effective and appropriate planning controls to guide development on the site and preserve the long-term viability of the market.”
The Mayor said Council recently explored the possibility of protecting the market through the use of heritage controls and commissioned a heritage study that was peer reviewed and also obtained expert legal advice.
The study provided important information about the historical, cultural, and social significance of the market to the local community.
“We feel strongly this information needs to be taken into consideration by the VPA as part of their review process and incorporated into developing the most effective suite of planning controls to provide the best outcome for the site and protect the market operations into the future.
“Council has also made the decision not to seek heritage protection for Preston Market at this time, but rather to focus on the current review of planning controls and community engagement. To get the best outcome it’s important that the study and advice is considered holistically and incorporated into the broader review.
“It’s important to understand that a heritage overlay does not protect the use of the land being used as a market. And, based on the information provided, the building is unlikely to meet the technical requirements for heritage, but even if a case could be made to apply a heritage control this would not compel the market to remain a market,” Mayor Le Cerf said.
Council will make the study and associated reports available on its website on the 22 May.
“We know this issue is an important one for many in our community, so we will be meeting with key stakeholders to go through the study in more detail.
Community consultation so far
Phase One of community consultation on the market has recently finished.
“This round of consultation was about understanding the character and uniqueness of the market with the aim of developing a vision for the site,” the Mayor said.
“We were really pleased with the level of participation in the consultation and that so many community members provided input.
“Council will now continue to work with the VPA on the second phase of the community engagement, which will run until around mid-July. This phase includes seeking feedback on different options or scenarios for the market site.
“A community reference group has also been selected and over the next three months will be asked to explore issues and opportunities in more depth and provide feedback.
“Council is absolutely committed to supporting the long-term future of the Preston Market. We want the market to stay and thrive,” the Mayor said.
For more information visit www.darebin.vic.gov.au/prestonmarket.
Media Release - 22 May 2018