Eighty public housing apartments and 40 trees are facing imminent demolition in Dunlop Avenue, Ascot Vale, according to a notice sent to residents this week.
The demolition of the flats has been delayed due to COVID-19, but the area will be fenced off in June, and the buildings will be decommissioned and flattened.
Removing the flats and trees has been imminent since Moonee Valley Council approved a planning permit in December 2019 for DHHS to construct 200 new apartments on the publicly owned land.
Of the new apartments, only 88 out of 200 will be for public housing residents.
One resident who lives near-by is dismayed at the loss of solid-brick post-war housing that could be renovated, rather than destroyed.
The existing buildings are situated on a grassy expanse and surrounded by mature trees that offer shade in summer. Many apartments have balconies, and could be refurbished to a high standard – inclusive of disability compliance, the resident says.
The new complex, for which there were ten local objectors, will have six three-storey buildings with basement car parks.
The diagrams below show the existing and then the new buildings: from MVCC’s meeting agenda. The planning proposal was unanimously approved by councillors.
The plans indicate 12-13 trees will be retained, including the eucalyptus trees pictured below.
The tree pictured below will be felled, and most of those in the following picture.
Residents were moved from the apartments some time ago. Despite sitting empty for at least six months, the flats display little outward damage or decay.
It’s not clear when new buildings will be constructed: land in Flemington cleared for the same public housing renewal project has sat vacant for 12 months with no indication of whether building contracts have been negotiated.
The outdoor clothes-drying facilities, and rows of classic Hills Hoists, are also unlikely to be replaced in the new apartment complex.