Another significant Beauy home destined for demolition

We’ve sadly learnt that a very significant MCM house in Beaumaris may be demolished very soon. A Demolition Permit has been granted by Bayside Council and workmen were seen removing materials yesterday.

27 Mariemont Avenue was designed by renowned architecture firm Chancellor & Patrick in 1962. It was cited in Council’s 2008 City of Bayside Inter-War & Post-War Heritage Study, Vol 1, (see pages 55-60).

Here’s the property on Yes, the owners paid that much to knock it down.


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Source: Peter Wille Collection, Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

This house is a significant piece of Beaumaris and Bayside built heritage that is destined for landfill. We have learnt the demolition order was granted by council back in February despite them having full knowledge of the significance of this home via their very own commissioned study. Seemingly it never stood a chance of being respected and preserved because of Bayside Council’s inexplicable backflip on the 2017 Mid-Century Modern Heritage Study in Black Rock and Beaumaris.

The same Councilors that voted unanimously in July 2017 for Council to undertake the study and thus an orthodox heritage process, and (in an unprompted display) supported applying for interim heritage protection for the houses cited in the 2008 study, then voted unanimously in April 2018 to halt the study before it had even commenced. Meanwhile Council’s Planning Department failed to do the necessary work required to support the interim protection.

In April 2018, Council’s planners used extremely flimsy and vague budgetary concerns in their proposal at the Council Meeting. Councilors then cited “community disharmony”, following outrageously false accusations and unchallenged misrepresentations from a noisy minority, to justify completely changing tack and adopting an un-scoped, unviable alternative.

Quite clearly the sham / red herring voluntary nomination option that Bayside Council voted to adopt, instead of the heritage study and Council’s documented process, is not adequate in protecting worthy heritage. And thus, Bayside Council is failing to meet the objectives of its own 2017 Heritage Action Plan.

Your Beaumaris Modern committee has been communicating with Council for many months to seek valid explanation for this backflip and vows to hold council to account by instigating Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for specific communications relating to Council’s decision making process on this matter.

Bayside Council have admitted they did not undertake any rigor in investigating or documenting how a voluntary nomination process might work. They had previously acknowledged on the public record (20/02/18) that a voluntary approach would fail to protect significant homes:

“Council’s approach is to review a specific historic era rather than individual properties on a site by site basis. The latter approach is resource intensive and can result in some of the more significant buildings of an era not being protected if the owner does not agree to a voluntary listing.”
Director of Corporate Services, Bayside Council
Council Ordinary Meeting, 20/02/18

If you feel as strongly as we do about the ongoing destruction of our heritage, please voice your concerns to Bayside Council.

The Beaumaris Modern committee