Palace Theatre update

Comment on local heritage significance of the former Palace Theatre in Bourke St closed on March 20.

The City of Melbourne advertised an amendment to the Melbourne Planning Scheme following a decision late last year to support some aspects of the building’s heritage significance.

Specifically, amendment C241 – Palace Theatre Heritage Review –suggested three changes to the planning scheme:

Amending the Schedule to Clause 43.01 (Heritage Overlay) to insert a new entry for the Palace Theatre which ticks the ‘External Paint Controls Apply?’ box;

Amending Clause 22.04 – Heritage Places within the Capital City Zone, by the addition of a policy reference titled Palace Theatre, Bourke St, Melbourne: Heritage Assessment for the City of Melbourne, December 2014; and

Amending the incorporated document, Central City (Hoddle Grid) Heritage Review: Statements of Significance June 2013, by including the Statement of Significance for 20-30 Bourke St, Melbourne at page 91.

Save the Palace activists say the amendment does not go far enough to recognise the building’s heritage significance.

The group’s website says: “Save the Palace believes that the proposed planning scheme amendments, whilst a strong start to the recognition required for the Palace, exclude a number of identified contributory interior heritage elements that should also be included into the Statement of Significance within the scheme.”

“We strongly recommend that the City of Melbourne reconsider these amendments so that more thorough and appropriate protection may be provided to the Palace Theatre.”

The council’s Future Melbourne Committee will decide in May whether or not to request the Minister for Planning appoint an independent panel to consider the proposed amendment.

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