The City of Melbourne appears set to compromise on its Queen Victoria Market redevelopment by leaving intact half of the historic open sheds previously earmarked for removal and renovation.
Council city design director Rob Adams recently outlined the changes to opponents of the council’s redevelopment plans for the market.
CBD News understands that, rather than excavate a basement under all of A,B,C and D sheds, the basement will now be confined to only the Peel St half of the sheds. However, the basement will be deeper – with three levels.
The first level will be dedicated to trader services; deliveries will be made to level two; and customer parking will be on the third level.
Such a move would mean far less disruption for traders during the construction period, with fruit and vegetable traders not needing to relocate to a temporary pavilion.
It would also at least partially diminish concerns about whether the heritage sheds can successfully be removed, renovated and reinstated without damage.
Council management is expected to soon seek conceptual support for the change from councillors. The council is yet to apply for planning approval to remove the sheds and construct the basement. Heritage approval will also be needed before such work can be carried out.
A City of Melbourne spokesperson said: “The City of Melbourne is engaged in the schematic design phase for the development of the Quarter 2 (upper market) infrastructure works, and subject to council approval, will lodge an application for planning and heritage approval in September. Following this, we will move into the detailed design phase, which will involve trader engagement on operational efficiencies.”