Many readers will remember GERA’s unsuccessful “ Save Frogmore Campaign” (1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie) and Glen Eira Council’s shameful 9/6/2015 decision to abandon applying heritage protection to Frogmore House before it could be assessed by an Independent Planning Panel (effectively denying all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process). The end result being the demolition of Frogmore House occurring in July, 2015.
Unfortunately, it appears that an addendum has recently been added to the shameful Frogmore Saga. This time it is related to processing the of the planning permit application for a two storey Aged Care Facility which includes a proposal to remove 88 trees from the site.
The 9/6/2015 decision to abandon heritage decision for Frogmore was made
- a Council commissioned Independent Heritage Expert Assessment (Jan, 2015), which unequivocally recommended Heritage Protection at the Municipal Level.
- it being inconsistent with the Glen Eira Municipal Strategic Statement, Glen Eira Planning Scheme and the 1987 Planning and Environment Act objectives of planning for Victoria. Inadequate strategic justification was provided to support this inconsistency.
- a recommendation from the National Trust
- considerable community support for Heritage Protection to be applied to Frogmore (petition of approx. 1000 signatures, planning conference 300+ letters of support for protection vs. 2 against protection)
- Instigation (reportedly by Mayor Magee) of an Interim Protection Order for Frogmore in Jan, 2015
- 2/2/2015 6 to 3 decision to proceed with Heritage Protection based on the January, 2015 Heritage Advisor’s Report (For Protection Crs. Sounness, Okotel, Lobo, Delahunty, Esakoff and Magee; Against Protection Crs. Pilling, Hyams and Lipshutz)
- based on
- reliance on an inappropriate process (the planning permit approval process) to determined Heritage Values vs. the appropriate Planning Scheme Amendment process
- reliance on an outdated (2002) Municipal Wide Heritage Assessment that recognised Frogmore as significant but excluded it from Heritage Protection in part because in was not located in a heritage protection area. This flawed 2002 application of the “safety in numbers” concept to heritage determination overrode the January 2015 assessment (which in addition to many other factors), recommended protection due to it’s individual location (rarity) and took into account social and demographic changes that had occurred since 2002. “It’s a victim of it’s own rarity”
- that the potential purchaser (Jewish Care) had acted in good faith and undertaken significant expenditure in identifying and negotiating the site for re-development as an Aged Care Facility. FYI – caveat emptor is not listed as either a planning or heritage consideration
- an unsubstantiated determination of Net Community Benefit of 120 beds. With 120 beds equating Jewish Care’s assessment of site potential if Frogmore wasn’t retained. Clearly, this net community benefit calculation ascribes a zero value to heritage.
- the decision of Heritage Victoria not to award State Level Protection to Frogmore which was a decision based on an assessment at the broader State Level rather than smaller Municipal Level. Council’s use of the Heritage Victoria decision as a justification, ignores the fact that Heritage Protection, within Australia, provides for heritage recognition and protection at the Municipal Level. It also ignores the fact that Council’s commissioned 01/ 2015, Heritage Advisors Assessment was undertaken at the Municipal Level and recommends protection at that level
“Frogmore is significant to the locality of Carnegie and Murrumbeena and City of Glen Eira and should be conserved as one of the cultural assets of the city … Frogmore House should be included in the schedule to heritage over lay clause 43.01 by the Glen Eira Planning Scheme”.
- a casting vote – in the absence of the Mayor (Magee) and declarations of conflicts of interest (arising since February, 2015) from the Deputy Mayor (Delahunty) and Cr. Esakoff, the immediate past Mayor Cr. Pilling took and chair and exercised his casting vote. (For Protection Crs. Sounness, Okotel, Lobo; Against Protection Crs. Pilling (2 votes), Hyams and Lipshutz)
9/6/2015 Decision to abandon heritage protection
17/6/2015 Planning Permit Application for a 2 storey Aged Care Facility at 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie, lodged with Council for Council review.
21/7/2015 Frogmore House Demolished
13/9/2015 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie site aerial photo ex Nearmap
15/9/2015 Advertising period for Planning Permit Application commenced, ie. plans made available for residents review and possible objections.
Included in the permit documentation provided for residents review is a proposal for the removal of 88 trees – we’d appreciate readers assistance in finding them in the above 13/9/2015 aerial photograph.
To aid you below is a aerial picture of the site circa January, 2015.
And a picture taken during the July 2015 demolition works
29/9/2015 Advertising period completed. Objections received to be considered by Council in near future.