Tag Archives: Frogmore House

SAVE FROGMORE – PART 3 – THE PLANNING CONFERENCE

The third* part of the residents’ campaign to save Frogmore occurred in early May (6/5/2015) and comprised a Planning Conference related to Council’s Planning Scheme Amendment C137 to apply an Heritage Overlay to 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie. Those attending (25+) the planning conference included residents, a representative from the National Trust, the property owner (Churches of Christ – Queensland) and the potential purchaser (Jewish Care). In addition to those attending Council advised receipt of 303 letters supporting the Heritage Overlay and 2 letters opposing Heritage Overlay.

* Refer to GERA’s earlier postings – Save Frogmore, Save Frogmore – Part 2

While Council’s objective of a planning conference  is not to make a decision but rather to provide “a public and open forum where discussion of the proposal can occur between the parties with a view to identifying affected resident concerns, possible means for addressing the concerns and opportunities to improve the proposal” , the attending residents did not believe that objective had been achieved.   The residents believed the 8,000 sqm site presented a unique opportunity for a redevelopment proposal that could both preserve Frogmore’s heritage significance (as identified and recommended by Council’s Independent Heritage Advisor) and accommodate an Aged Care Facility (albeit a scaled back facility). However, the potential purchaser* (Jewish Care) expressed the view that optimum redevelopment of the site for an Aged Care Facility did not allow for the retention of Frogmore and gave little consideration to a less than optimum redevelopment. As a result of this inability to reach common ground residents hold grave concerns for the retention of Frogmore – Council is to discuss the planning conference outcome and decide whether to continue or abandon Amendment C137 at next Tuesday’s Council Meeting (9/6/2015).

 * Please note that at the Planning Conference both the potential vendor (Churches of Christ, Qld) and the potential purchaser (Jewish Care) stated that ownership of the property has not changed hands and that the sale remains, as stated in the October, 2014, media releases, a conditional sales agreement dependent upon planning approval.

BACKGROUND

Before outlining the planning conference discussion, the following is a brief summary GERA’s 2 previous posting’s and Council’s independent heritage advisors report. This will make for a longer than average post but should draw our previous postings together.

Save Frogmore Timeline

October, 2014 – Churches of Christ (Qld) and Jewish Care announce conditional sale and proposed redevelopment of site (1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie).  The sale was (and still is) conditional upon obtaining planning approval.

16/12/2014 – Residents lodge petition (1,000+ signatures) requesting heritage recognition for Frogmore.  Council passes motion for an independent heritage assessment to be undertaken.

January, 2015 – Council obtains an Interim Protection Order on Frogmore to prevent demolition prior to Council formalising the decision to protect, or not to protect, Frogmore.

3/2/2015 – Independent Heritage Advisor’s (Graeme Butler) report which recommended Municipal Heritage Protection, together with a highly questionable unnamed Officer’s Report, submitted to Council.  Council voted 6 to 3 (For – Sounness, Okotel, Lobo, Delahunty, Esakoff and Magee; Against – Pilling, Hyams and Lipshutz) to apply Heritage Protection at the Local Level as recommended by the Heritage Advisor and in accordance with Clause 21.10 of the Local Planning Policy Framework.

13/3/2015 – As a result of Save Frogmore Campaigners’ submissions requesting State Level Heritage Protection,  Heritage Victoria published its assessment and did not recommend State Level Heritage Protection (Heritage Victoria Assessment) .  This assessment, and petitioners’ subsequent submissions, to be reviewed by Heritage Council early June, 2015.

6/5/2015 – Planning Conference of Amendment C137 Heritage Overlay on Frogmore.

9/6/2015 – Council decision to abandon or continue applying the Heritage Overlay.

Council’s Independent Heritage Advisors Report – February, 2015

Before summarising the above report, readers should note the report disagrees with the construction date of Frogmore House. The Save Frogmore campaigners believe the surviving house was constructed in 1857 (which would enhance Frogmore’s heritage significance via association with renowned architect Joseph Reed and the original owner – pioneering pastoralist William Lyall) whereas the advisor’s report gives a construction date as 1889 (which excludes the Reed/Lyall associations but retains the association with pastoralist Archibald McLauren (second owner) and subsequent owners while also attributing architectural design to noted architect Sydney W. Smith).

It is understood that the campaigners have lodged submissions to the Victorian Heritage Council providing further support of the 1857 construction date. Pending the Heritage Council determination of the subsequent submissions, for the purposes of this posting GERA accepts the Independent Heritage Advisor’s 1889 construction ’s date

Frogmore’s Heritage Significance 

 Recommendation

“Frogmore House is significant to the City of Glen Eira historically and aesthetically … and should be conserved as one of the cultural assets of the city.

 Frogmore house should be included in the schedule to the heritage overlay clause 43.01 in the Glen Eira Planning Scheme.”

 Why is Frogmore House significant

Briefly the Independent Heritage Advisors Report found that Frogmore was Locally significant to Glen Eira on the following basis

  • Historically – demonstrates pattern of settlement and growth of the Municipality development
  • Rarity – As a former farm residence, Frogmore is rare within Glen Eira
  • Aesthetically – Architectural design and features
  • By Association – with designing architect and the achievements, cultural and spiritual associations of owners.

Additional details of the Advisor’s significance findings are available in

  • a summarised version as a footnote to this posting or
  • the Independent Heritage Advisor Report , available on Council’s website (C137_Graeme_Bulter_Heritage_Assessment_Report)

PLANNING CONFERENCE DISCUSSION

 Residents

 All residents voiced the opinion that good planning resulted in planning outcomes that enabled both heritage retention and sympathetic redevelopment of large sites – on such sites, good design should enable heritage retention without preventing redevelopment and redevelopment without the loss of recognised heritage assets. In this instance, and in line with Glen Eira’s Community plan, both heritage preservation and the provision of Aged Care Facilities were seen as compatible uses that respond to the community’s needs.

  • The size of the property is capable of accommodating both an Aged Care Facility and the retention of Frogmore House and its significant vegetation. (Site size 8,000 sqm, house size 718 sqm, estimated vegetation area 300 sqm)
  • Frogmore House is the only surviving, recognised heritage building within the Carnegie/Murrumbeena area. As more and more quality period homes are lost forever to more intensive development Frogmore’s heritage value increases.
  • While Frogmore has “slipped through the cracks” in past heritage reviews, the Independent Heritage Report now imposes a duty on Council to recognise Frogmore’s significance by preserving it for current and future residents.
  • The significance of heritage to fostering the development of a community and a sense of identity is both well documented and widely acknowledged.
  • The condition of the building is good. Both Council’s Heritage Advisor’s Report and Heritage Victoria’s assessment states that
    • The original features of the house remain largely intact
    • Except for one, all building alterations (i.e. newer building annexes which are excluded in the proposed heritage overlay) have been largely superficial.

In addition, the buildings continued usage as an aged care facility until December, 2014 (when the Betheden Aged Care Facility was closed) also indicates that Frogmore’s structural condition is sound and internally is well maintained.

Residents also voiced their criticism of the unnamed Officers Report submitted to Council 3/2/2015. These criticisms were

  • the inclusion of inappropriate comments referring to the Council’s 1996-2003 Heritage Assessment (eg. that “the time to speak up was then not now”) which
    • does not reflect the “representative” nature of local government nor does it show that Council is responsive to the social and demographic changes that have occurred since 2003, and
    • contradicts the report’s subsequent comment that, “any party, notwithstanding the 1996-2003 assessment, has the ability to request/justify the addition of a property to the Glen Eira heritage register”.
  •  The report’s omission of significant vegetation included in the Heritage Advisor’s Report – 2 Canary Palms and Silky Oak
  • The Report’s reference to the 1996 – 2003 Heritage Assessment which
    • while recognising Frogmore’s significance gave it a Grade C category which excluded it from inclusion in a heritage overlay because it was not located “within an identified heritage area” – arguably (then and now) Frogmore’s stand-alone location rather than detracting from its heritage significance, actually enhances that significance.
    • This much earlier heritage assessment did not include associations that were included in the 2015 assessment and arguably it should have.
  • The report, written after receipt of the heritage advisor’s report, was weighted to full site redevelopment rather than focusing on the key issue of heritage.  The report does not refer to Council’s heritage strategies which are to
    • Protect places identified as having architectural, cultural or historical significance.
    • Ensure sympathetic redevelopment and renovation of areas and places identified as having architectural, cultural or historic significance in the municipality.
    • Enhance knowledge and popular understanding of Glen Eira’s architectural, cultural and historic heritage.
  • The report omitted to mention that the Planning Scheme encourages Aged Care Facility to be located in the various centres that have been designated for high density development rather than in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (which is the zone applicable to the site). The reasons being that
    • Aged Care Facilities tend to increase in size and can become disruptive (visitor and servicing vehicle volumes and increased parking demand) in Residential Areas
    • Provides proximity to various facilities (shops, services, public transport) that enhances the aged care residents’ independence.

 Please also note that,

  • contrary to the officer’s report stating that the property had been sold, at the Planning Conference both the Churches of Christ (Qld) and Jewish Care stated that property has not been sold and the sale remains conditional pending planning approval.
  • That the property’s location does not provide facility residents with convenient access to local shopping or service centres. Facility residents will need to access these centres by either private vehicle or the Murrumbeena Road bus service.

Potential Vendor (Churches of Christ, Qld)

  • The Churches of Christ (QLD) representative stated that since 1951 Frogmore House has been associated with the provision of residential aged care. (Originally a 25 bed facility, successive expansions had seen it grow to 60 beds at the time of closure)
  • The decision to close the facility was the result of legislative changes (related to residential aged care accommodation standards) that, in their view, made redesign of the facility impractical and the sale of the property (with resulting funds being available for other charitable operations) the more attractive alternative.

Potential Purchaser (Jewish Care)

  • Had been seeking potential sites to provide their community with aged care facilities for a period of time and had the selected the site because of its size and proximity to services and facilities. Sites of this large size were not readily available in Glen Eira and the Planning Scheme’s continuous use* clause would enable the construction and operation of an Aged Care Facility in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

* The concept of continuous use (also known as existing use) provides for a previously legal or permitted use to continue even though subsequent changes to the planning scheme may now prohibit that use.

Please note that residents objection to the proposed redevelopment focused a scaling back of proposal that would accommodate both heritage preservation and aged care facility use.  No resident objected to continuous use of the site.

  • In assessing a site’s potential, the proposed purchaser used modelling tools (comprising many diverse factors, including Legislative requirements and Planning Scheme constraints) for either a 60 or 120 bed facility. If the total site was redeveloped the site could accommodate the 120 bed model, however, if Frogmore was to be retained, the location of the house on the lot would constrain the redevelopment to a 60 bed facility. While the potential purchaser appreciated heritage, in their view, building a 120 bed facility represented a Net Community Benefit (NCB) of 60 beds which outweighed Frogmore’s heritage value. Based on this analysis, the potential purchaser was reluctant to consider a smaller facility for the site and would prefer to seek alternate sites.

Residents pointed out that

  • It is up to the Glen Eira Community and due Planning Processes (which provides for community input) to determine what constitutes Net Community Benefit.
  • That the arithmetic equation (ie which is based solely on the difference of what could be built if Frogmore is not retained vs. what could be built if Frogmore is retained – NCB = 120 – 60) is simplistic and assigns a zero value to heritage preservation.   This is contrary to well established planning principles that recognise and value heritage retention – such a valuation should be undertaken by accredited professionals and the results may outweigh the NCB value of 60 beds.   In addition, little evidence or justification was provided to support use of only two models.
  • The National Trust Representative offered the Trusts assistance with the proposed redevelopment’s planning and heritage issues. Although this offer was not responded to at the Planning Conference, follow-up is anticipated to occur.
  • Presumably in support of the zero heritage value, the potential purchaser commented that Victoria Heritage had not recommended State Level Heritage Protection for Frogmore.

Residents outlined the 3 levels of Heritage Protection that exist within Australia. These being National, State and Local – with each heritage assessment application being assessed using similar criteria with, because of the extent of the areas being reviewed, varying standards are applied to each criteria.   At the Local level, Council commissioned an Independent Heritage Advisor’s Report which unequivocally recognised the significance of Frogmore and also unequivocally recommended a Heritage Overlay be applied to Frogmore.

  • The potential purchaser indicated that considerable costs had been incurred in both the property search and in preparation of plans. The plans were nearing completion and would shortly be lodged with Council.

Please note that, as is customary, these plans have not be publicly discussed with, or shown to residents. Residents knowledge of the plans is limited to the information included in the previously mentioned press releases and the planning conference discussion.

THE NEXT STEP

 As previously mentioned the next step in the Heritage Overlay process is for Council to decide, on 9/6/2015, to continue or abandon the Planning Scheme Amendment process.   While many residents have expressed concern re the outcome of the Planning Conference and that Council may decide to abandon the process based on the above Net Community Benefit calculation, GERA trusts that Council will proceed with the process of implementing the amendment. This will ensure

  • Due planning processes are followed to ensure that residents are able to participate in those processes which would include input into the determination of Net Community Benefit and a quantifiable Heritage Valuation by an accredited professional.
  • Due consideration is given to Council’s Independent Heritage Advisor’s Assessment , which deemed Frogmore as meeting the threshold for inclusion in the local heritage overlay under Clause 21.10 of the Local Planning Policy Framework – a framework which Council has a responsibility to uphold.
  • Consistency with Council’s Heritage Strategies of
    • Protecting places identified as having architectural, cultural or historical significance.
    • Ensuring sympathetic redevelopment and renovation of areas and places identified as having architectural, cultural or historic significance in the municipality.
    • Enhancing knowledge and popular understanding of Glen Eira’s architectural, cultural and historic heritage.
  • Consistency with the objectives of planning for Victoria (as identified in the Planning and Environment Act 1987) in that continuing the amendment process will:
    • Provide for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use, and the development of land;
    • Secure a pleasant, efficient and safe working, living and recreational environment for all Victorians and visitors to Victoria;
    • Conserve and enhance those building, areas or other places which are of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historical interest, or otherwise of special cultural value; and
    • Balance the present and future interests of all Victorians.
  • Frogmore is preserved, at least until due planning processes have occurred.

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Footnotes:

THE NEXT STEP

Readers should note that continuing with the potentially lengthy, planning scheme amendment process will involve.

An Independent Planning Panel hearing and assessment/recommendation

A Council decision on to accept or reject the Independent Planning Panel’s recommendations

 SUMMARISED INDEPENDENT HERITAGE ADVISOR’S FINDINGS

 Why is Frogmore House significant

  • Historically
    • Early associations with stock breeding and farming and the early pattern of land settlement
    • 1880’s redevelopment linked to key early development with the City and the late Victorian-era land boom. This link makes it part of the Glen Eira Victorian era architectural heritage
    • ArchibaldMcLauren association
      • Noted pastoralist in two colonies
      • Subdivision allowed for growth of Caulfield District and Gippsland Railway opening
      • Early Caulfield District Roads Board Member, Councillor and philanthropist
    • Frogmore House designed by Sydney W. Smith (son of architect Sydney William Smith who designed Caulfield Town Hall) early in his long and distinguished career.
  • Rarity
    • Frogmore is now rare within the Glen Eira because of the combination of age, scale, architectural style and historical associations.
    • Few identified Victorian era Italianate villas have survived in Glen Eira with none identified in the Carnegie/Murrumbeena area (which was relatively unaffected by the Victorian era building boom).
    • Glen Eira’s surviving Victorian-era residential building stock were residences of professional Melbourne City workers and are not associated with working farms.
    • No other known example of Sydney W. Smith’s 1880’s work directly parallels the design. Of the buildings designed by the Smith’s, only the Caulfield Town Hall (father) and Frogmore House (son) survive in Glen Eira.
  • Aesthetically
    • Architecturally designed Frogmore House is a good example of a Victoria-era Italianate villa. It was and is rare in the Carnegie/Murrumbeena area
    • Frogmore House features include
      • Diachromatic brickwork
      • Diachromatic tower that has become a landmark
      • Verandahs on three sides
  • By Association
    • Early associations, via crown land sales, with William Lyall and his model farm.
    • House and Land associations with Archibald McLauren, the dominance of pastoral activities in the Victorian era and the later growth of the Caulfield District via land subdivision and immigration.
    • The cultural and spiritual associations held by subsequent owner/occupiers (Gairdner, Seelemeyer, Menck, Keys, Churches of Christ).

SAVE FROGMORE – PART 2

Exterior0012

UPDATE:

At tonight’s Council Meeting, Councillors voted 6 to 3 to proceed with

Option A – Initiate a heritage protection process (which recognises Frogmore’s significance at the municipal level as per the   January, 2015 Heritage Advisor’s Recommendation)

 As per the reasons outlined in our below posting, Option A was the preferred option for the Petition Organisers, GERA and the community.

The voting pattern was

For:  Crs. Sounness, Okotel, Lobo, Delahunty, Esakoff and Magee (and against Option B).

Against:   Crs. Pilling, Hyams and Lipshutz (and for Option B).

 GERA congratulates Council for this decision and the Petition Organisers for their significant efforts in highlighting the issue and striving for this outcome.

No doubt further efforts, related to providing additional information to Heritage Victoria and preparing for the Planning Amendment Process will again require significant efforts on the part of the Petition Organisers.  GERA will continue our support and urges readers and residents to do likewise.

PS.  Urging the inclusion of a Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) for the identified, yet again overlooked, significant trees would also be a good idea.

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The agenda for the this Tuesday’s (3/2/15) Council Meeting includes item 9.2 – 1 Wahgoo Road Carnegie – Heritage Assessment (2015 02 03 EXTRACT of Council AGENDA and relates to Frogmore House (refer GERA’s previous post).

The Independent Heritage Advisor’s Report (which did not involve an internal or structural review)

  • differs from the residents’ submission on when the existing house was built (ie. that the Lyall commissioned working farm and family residence, designed by Joseph Reed (1857) was demolished and rebuilt by Archibald McLaurin – 1880) and also
  • differs with Council’s 1996 – 2003 Heritage Survey which although recognising Frogmore’s “local significance” determined that since the building was not within an identified historic area it was not recommended for inclusion the resulting heritage overlay.
  • recognises significant vegetation on the property – two Canary Island Palms and one Silky Oak

The organisers of the petition, are appreciative of Council undertaking the reassessment which not only considers the significance of the existing house but also the house’s historical associations and makes the following recommendations and conclusions:

  • Recommendations

 “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.”

  •  Conclusion

 “Frogmore House should be included in the schedule to heritage over lay clause 43.01 by the Glen Eira Planning Scheme”.

 With regards the differences in date of construction, the organisers of the petition have advised GERA that additional 1850 – 1860’s documents, contained in the Lyall Family Archives, will be submitted to Heritage Victoria for inclusion in their assessment of Frogmore House. This documentation reportedly includes comments on the house and tower that closely aligns with that which currently exists and, therefore, supports the “linkage” to Lyall and Reed.  The documentation also supports their contention that although Archibald McLaurin may have altered the house he did not demolish and rebuild Frogmore. If accepted this documentation emphasises Frogmore House’s significance at the State Level.

OFFICERS REPORT – GERA’s COMMENTS

While GERA still congratulates  Council for initiating an Interim Protection Order on Frogmore and undertaking the a professional heritage assessment, GERA is concerned about the comments and recommendations included in the submitted Officer’s Report.

  •  The Report is not focussed on the key issue of heritage – is Frogmore House of historic significance to Glen Eira and does it warrant heritage protection?  The independent heritage assessment clearly identifies the municipal significance of both the house and three trees and recommends heritage protection, by inclusion in the Glen Eira Planning Scheme.
  • However rather than focussing on the heritage issues, the Officer’s Report appears to be focussed on
    • the differing heritage findings of 1996-2003 Heritage Survey (which did not consider historical associations of the property) vs. the current (February, 2015) heritage assessment (which did consider historical associations) and various mentions of no objections to Frogmore’s exclusion being received in 2003.
    • planning issues (eg. land size and proposed land use) which are more appropriately addressed during the planning permit approval process. With regards the Officer’s Report, the analysis associated with these issues is apparently slanted to a total redevelopment of this large (approx. 8,000 sqm) site – the opportunity that a site of this size presents for a redevelopment that incorporates a historically significant house is not mentioned. Likewise, no mention is made of significant trees.
    • the site’s recent change of ownership and that the new owner acted in good faith in committing significant funds on the basis of Council’s planning scheme – no mention is made that both the Vendor Purchasers Statement indicate that the proposed sale was conditional upon receiving planning approval or that to date, as per Council’s  Planning Applications Register 2,no planning permit application has been received.  While changes to the announced conditions of sale are entirely within the rights of the contracting parties, it does raise serious questions re the validity of disadvantage to the purchaser being included in the Officers Report.
  • The Officer’s Report gives two options to redress this situation

However, before considering these two options readers should note that within Australia there are three levels of Heritage Protection or Registration, each undertaken by different authorities with varying assessment criteria and focus:

  • Australian – National Trust – significance assessed at the National Level
  • State – Heritage Victoria and the Heritage Council – significance assessed at the State Level
  • Local – Local Authorities (Councils) – significance assessed at the Municipal Level

As a general rule, heritage protection works on a “top-down” basis (if a property is significant at the national level then it is also significant at the lower levels) rather than a “bottom-up” basis (if a property is significant at the local level it does not necessarily follow that it is significant at the higher levels).

The two options provided are

  • Option A Option A T

Council is then advised that

“If Council favours Option A, the terms of a possible decision would be

That Council request the Minister for Planning to impose interim heritage controls over 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie and authorise the exhibition of a planning scheme amendment to place heritage controls over the property.”

  • Option B Option B T

Council is then advised that

 “If Council favours Option B, the terms of a possible decision would be

That Council

  • Note the heritage process over the period 1996 to 2003 which provided the appropriate opportunity to put views for or against the heritage status of 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie;
  • Note that the current owner of the property has acted in good faith and committed significant funds on the basis of Council’s planning scheme; and
  • Forwards the attached consultant report to the Heritage Council and agrees to abide by the Heritage Councils decision in this matter.”

 GERA believes that Option A should be the preferred option as Heritage Victoria, in response to the previously mentioned residents submissions, will be undertaking an State Level assessment of the property which should include the property’s

  • interior and structural conditions
  • historical association with Joseph Reed (Architect) and William Lyall (original owner)

Depending on the assessment findings

  • If the assessment records the property as being significant at the State Level, then heritage protection will be applicable at both the State and Municipal Level.   Thus, the planning scheme amendment process can be halted.
  • If the assessment records the property as significant at a Municipal Level rather than at a State Level, that finding should not preclude Council recognising the Heritage Advisor’s Statement of Municipal Significance and enacting a Heritage Overlay on the property. In this case, the planning scheme amendment process would continue
    • Readers should note that the planning scheme amendment process, is by the “nature of the beast” and regardless of the request, a lengthy process with varying degrees of certainty. The heritage advisor’s report justifies the amendment and, as such, should reduce the uncertainty mentioned in the Officer’s Report.
    • The community consultation, incorporated in the amendment process, ensures that all interested parties (stakeholders) have input into the outcome.
    • Not to continue the Planning Scheme amendment, in the light of the Heritage Advisors Report, would give rise to the same criticisms of Council’s heritage management process as those included in the 2011 Independent Planning Panel Report (Amendment C83 – Removal of Heritage Overlay on a Caulfield South property – Cnr. Hawthorn Road and Seaview Street):
      • Planning authorities have a responsibility to ensure that planning schemes have a sound basis. There should be good reasons when … expert advice is disregarded but none were provided in this instance.Council responded to the query from the Panel about why the Council did not accept the expert advice provided by stating that Council may form its own view.
      • It would set ‘a dangerous precedent’ if a strategic designation for more intense redevelopment was deemed sufficient justification for removing (or not adding) heritage overlays. The protection of heritage values remains a valid planning consideration in planning decisions.
      • The Panel does not accept the argument put by Council that removal of HO114 is justified by the fact that one quite different example of development influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright will be retained and all examples would not be lost. … It is apparent that the Site is a rare example in the locality and its heritage values should be taken into account in future planning decisions.
    • Widely spread, unconfirmed rumours indicate this option is recommended by Heritage Victoria.
  • Is in line with the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) – Councillor Training Program‘s recognition that Questioning and Challenging Officers Reports is an integral part of a Councillors role.
  • Both the 2011 Amendment C83 and this current issue indicates a review of the 2003 Heritage Assessments and associated administrative processes are warranted. This is an issue which is not addressed in the Officer’s Report.

GERA and many members believe that this is an unfortunate situation that may involve a significant disadvantage to the purchaser of the 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie. Equally, it is also unfortunate that residents were not aware that Frogmore House was not included in the 2003 Heritage Overlay. That being said, it is even more unfortunate that the wording of the Officers Report of the 2003 consultation process (exemplified in Options A and B above) is considered inappropriate and does not reflect the level of responsiveness (frequently claimed by Council) that can reasonably be expected of a Council fully attuned to the dynamic demographic, communication and social changes that have occurred since 2003.

 

SAVE FROGMORE

At the last Council Meeting (16/12/2014), a petition (with approximately 1,000 verified signatures), was submitted to Council requesting that a heritage survey be conducted of the little known Frogmore House (1857) in Wahgoo Road, Carnegie.  A recent advice of a proposal to demolish and replace Frogmore, with a state of the art 120 bed aged care facility, made residents realise that Frogmore House had been overlooked in past Council heritage surveys and, therefore, did not have heritage classification. In addition to the petition, the residents have also lodged submissions, to include Frogmore House in the Victorian Heritage Register, with Heritage Victoria.

Frogmore House – current main entrance, Sept/Oct, 2014Exterior0012

GERA has been supporting the residents in their quest to have Frogmore House assessed for historical importance (social, cultural and heritage) as it is a significant property with potentially National and definite State and Local importance and is worthy of preservation.

As a result of the petition, Council “engaged a heritage adviser to “reassess” the heritage value of Frogmore House … the report is due within days” (Leader Article – 13/01/2015). While GERA is not aware of the content of the adviser’s report, GERA welcomes Heritage Victoria’s recent advise that, at Council’s initiation, an Interim Protection Order (IPO) has been issued for Frogmore House.   The IPO prevents any demolition works being undertaken until Heritage Victoria has completed an assessment and determination of the significance of Frogmore House.

GERA congratulates the residents who undertook substantial reasearch and organised the “Save Frogmore” campaign (a superb effort), those who signed the petition and Glen Eira Council, particularly Mayor Jim Magee, for initiating the IPO.

SIGNIFICANCE OF FROGMORE HOUSE

The following is a summary of the residents’ submissions to Heritage Victoria for the inclusion of Frogmore House in the Victorian Heritage Register.

Description

Original House – Artistic ImpressionFrogmore0001

Current Main Entrance – Sept/Oct. 2014Exterior0012

Frogmore House is an intact early single storey Italianate working farm family residence (with an ornate red brick tower, surrounding verandas on 3 sides and a garden setting with mature vegetation) built in 1857. It is situated in the former farmer settlement area then known as the Caulfield District and now known as suburban Carnegie/Murrumbeena .

Surrounding buildings, which obscure the street view of Frogmore House and are associated with Frogmore’s immediate past (65 years) usage as an aged care residence, are not included in the Heritage Listing Application.

Frogmore H&L

House area:        approx. 718 sqm (yellow) – comprising 6-8 rooms, linked by internal hallways, and a tower

Land area:           approx. 8000 sqm (red)

Current Condition

Over the years, the land area of the property has decreased and although various additions have been made in accordance with Frogmore’s aged care usage, these have been sympathetic

  • Externally the integrity and structure of the original house remains.  Additions, and their connection to the original working farm family residence havebeenwell considered in terms of
    • architectural styling and connectivity (via original doorways and windows)
    • Mature tree preservation
  • Internally, public access and residential areas retain original ceiling and wall mouldings and are well maintained. The tower staircase remains.

Tower  – original main entrance (Sept/Oct. 2014)Exterior0001

 Original Bay Window and polychromatic brickwork with rear sympathetic polychromatic addition – Sept/Oct. 2014Exterior0008

 Tower staircase – Sept/Oct. 2014Tower Staircase0001

 Corridor Crossing – Sept/Oct. 2014Interior 20007

 Statement of cultural heritage significance:

 Frogmore House was designed by renowned Architect Joseph Reed, as the working farm/family residence for William Lyall (a significant Scottish Pioneer who was in residence 1857-1868). In 1868 it became the residence of Archibald McLaurin (another significant Scottish Pioneer who was in residence 1868 to 1891).

Joseph Reed (1823?-1890) Cornish Architect who arrived in Victoria during the Gold Rush (1853)

  • “A dominant figure during Melbourne’s period of greatest growth, Reed was responsible for some of the largest and most important building commission in the city and in doing so was instrumental in making Melbourne one of the great Victorian cities” (Goad and Willis)
  • As well as prominent city buildings, Reed also designed smaller buildings and residences and was renowned for designing according to the intended “function of the building”.
    • Some prominent city buildings designed by Reed are Geelong Town Hall (1854), Melbourne Public Library (1854), Melbourne Town Hall (1864), Independent Church (1866) and the world heritage listed Exhibition Buildings (1878)
    • While few of the residences designed by Reed remain today, 2 exist within Glen Eira.
      • Frogmore House (1857) , designed in the Italianate* style as a single storey working farm/family residence (6-8 rooms). It features polychromatic (two tone) brick work, bay windows, an ornate red brick tower and surrounding verandas on 3 sides and
      • The much grander Rippon Lea (1868), also designed in the Italiante* style (Lombardic Romanesque) as a two-storey, 15 room house for a successful (former goldfields) merchant’s family residence and estate. It features polychromatic (three tone) brickwork and an extensive pleasure garden around the house.    Rippon Lea, circa 1880.  Rippon Lea has experienced alterations and additions over time.

William Lyall (1821-1888) – Resided at Frogmore 1857-1868.

  • a Scottish immigrant originally to Van Diemens Land, moved to Melbourne in 1847 and became a successful livestock merchant and noted Melbourne pastoralist
  • He returned to England and studied agricultural chemistry in Britain (1854-1856), returning to Victoria with stud livestock and gained a reputation as a stock breeder (cattle and sheep, race horses and game birds) with sales within Victoria and to Tasmania, NSW and New Zealand.
  • He established a model farm at Frogmore Estate (originally 93 acres (37.6 ha), expanded to 212 acres (85.8 ha)). Both at Frogmore’s model farm and a Tooradin property he pursued practical and innovative farming practices (seeds and pastures) and animal husbandry techniques
  • He was a regular contributor to the “Argus” writing articles on animal husbandry and other agricultural matters
  • The Public Offices held by Lyall, while residing at Frogmore, include founder of the Victorian Agricultural Society, Zoological Society, Acclimatisation Society (Southern vs Northern Hemisphere impacts on pasture plantings and livestock) and Victoria Racing Club, member of the National Agricultural Society, Member of the Legislative Assembly (Mornington 1859-1861) and Territorial Magistrate.

Archibald McLaurin, J.P. (NSW) (1815 -1891) Resided at Frogmore 1868-1891.

  • A Scottish immigrant (1839), one of the first overlanders and a noted pastoralist in Port Phillip and New South Wales
  • In the late 1860’s he sold his pastoral interests and acquired Frogmore where he lived until his death in 1891. While at Frogmore he grazed sheep (at Frogmore and Mordialloc) and was active in the community and local affairs (he was a Caulfield Shire Councillor)
  • He encouraged Scottish migration for the development of Victoria and the development of Murrumbeena area as a farmer-settler community in the 1860’s to 1870’s
  • In 1891 he donated two blocks of land (east side of Murrumbeena Road) for the building of a Presbyterian Church – now St. Giles Uniting Church

Following the death of Archibald McLaurin, during the period 1891-1951 details on the subsequent occupants (owners and or tenants) of Frogmore are limited (eg.  1906 – Gairdner, 1913 – J.G. Thompson, 1921 – L.O. Menck, 1925-1945 – J. Keys).   However, various period documents and newspaper articles record Frogmore House as hosting Melbourne society functions/gatherings, Church Services and Fund Raising events throughout this period.

In 1951, Frogmore House was acquired by the Churches of Christ  and operated as the “William Clay Nursing Home” (originally 25, later extended to 48 beds). In the 1990’s it was further extended to 60 beds and renamed “Betheden”.   As previously mentioned, although various additions have been made in accordance with Frogmore’s 65 years of continuing aged care usage, these additions have been sympathetic to the integrity and structure of the original house and the interior has been well maintained.

HERITAGE VICTORIA SIGNIFICANCE CRITERIA – FROGMORE ASSESSMENT

 Criterion A – Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria’s cultural history.

  • Example of a grand early working farm family residence whose early owners included pastoralists, actively involved with the development of Melbourne and Victoria. It’s location in Carnegie demonstrates the pattern of land settlement as Melbourne and Victoria developed.

Criterion B – Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria’s cultural history.

  • Frogmore House is a rare example of an early (1857) Italianate* single storey working farm family residence in the former Caulfield District of Melbourne. Few residences remain from the 1850s.
  • Other remaining Glen Eira heritage listed 1857 single storey residences (Rosecraddock and Halstead)

Comparison and map T

 Comparison: Frogmore with Rosecraddock and Halstead

  • although all three are described as Italianate* in style, each represents diverse interpretations of that style (Rosecraddock does not feature a tower and although Halstead does have a three storey tower – with a Mansard roof and cast-iron balustrade – it is significantly different from Frogmore’s two storey polychromatic renaissance style brick tower)
  • bothRosecraddock and Halstead
    • are stuccoed and do not feature polychromatic brickwork
    • are not attributable to a known architect (although Rosecraddock’s recessed central verandah section and cast iron lace, added in the 1880’s,  is attributed to architect Lloyd Tayler).
    • have been considerably altered over time (Rosecraddock in the period 1850’s – 1880’s and with a recent subdivision and stable relocation/conversion ; Halstead’s heritage recognition acknowledges a history of alteration and addition.)
    • were designed and constructed as residences of wealthy Melbournian Public Servants and Merchants rather than as a functioning model farm and family residence (of a wealthy livestock merchant and pastoralist interested in practical and innovative animal husbandry practices and pasture improvements).
  • locations represent their importance in the socio-economic history of south eastern suburban Melbourne, whereas Frogmore’s simultaneous construction emphasizes the inland pattern of development as well as that socio-economic history.

Criterion C – Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria’s cultural heritage

  • Significance of pasture experimentation and animal husbandry innovations on the development of Victoria -Lyall
  • Encouraged Scottish migration and development (farmer-settlers) of Victoria and Caulfield District (now Melbourne and in particular Carnegie/Murrumbeena) – McLaurin and Lyall .

Criterion F – Importance in demonstrating high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period

  • Joseph Reed – diversity and development of architectural design in private (Frogmore, Rippon Lea) and public buildings (Parliament House, Exhibition Buildings)
  • William Lyall – successful livestock merchant (imported stud bloodlines) and innovations/experimentations with pastures (grasses and seeds) and animal husbandry.
  • Archibald McLaurin – pioneer and noted pastoralist

Criterion G – Strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social cultural or spiritual reasons

  • Aboriginal – nomination of street names eg. Bambra, originally Cambrook – now Kambrook, Koornang and Neerim (accredited to Lyall)
  • Scottish Community (Lyall and McLaurin). Scottish St names in Murrumbeena – Ardyne Street, Innellan Road, Ariadne Avenue, Dunoon Street, McLaurin Road
  • Pastoralist Community (Lyall and McLaurin)
  • Founder of the Victorian Agricultural Society, Zoological Society, Acclimatisation Society and Victoria Racing Club (Lyall)
  • Religious Community (Lyall, McLaurin and Presbyterian/Uniting Church, Churches of Christ)
  • Hosting social and community events (Lyall and McLaurin and other owners/tennants)

Criterion H – Special association with the life or works of a person or group of persons of importance in Victoria’s history

  • Joseph Reed
  • William Lyall
  • Archibald McLaurin
  • Presbyterian/Uniting Church/Church’s of Christ

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Footnote:

Italianate Style – featured asymmetry and, usually, a tower of varying size. In Australia, the addition of the verandah, sometimes arcaded but later in Filigree (wrought iron), gave a regional flavour to the style.