One of the biggest misconceptions we come across on almost a daily basis in our role as Town Planner is that old equals heritage and character cannot change.

This misconception came through in an article that was recently published in the Herald Sun titled ‘History Lost: Almost 41,000 Victorian Properties Bulldozed in Five Years: VBA’.

The article was based on new figures that had been released by the Victorian Building Authority regarding the location of, and how many dwellings, had been demolished.

The article identifies that 41,000 homes have been demolished in Victoria in the past five years and goes on to identify a number of dwellings that have been demolished in recent years that were old, have a connection to a famous Australian or a combination of both.

We note that we did find some of the content of the article slightly misleading. For example, one of the dwellings mentioned was the former home of the Spin King, the one and only S K Warne which is in fact covered by a heritage overlay and it was only the newer rear addition and the pool with the number 23 tiles on the bottom (cricket fans obviously didn’t currently own the property) that was removed. Taking away the fact that it was the home of Australia’s greatest spin bowler (those of us who are cricket tragics would argue that the great man merely living there is enough for the property to be listed on the National Trust Register as a national treasure), the newer addition has no heritage value and therefore the demolition is totally reasonable.

Now don’t get us wrong, our office are strong believers that retaining our heritage is important, but we also believe in change and in our view retaining our history and embracing modern architectural trends can co-exist and in fact can and do often complement each other.

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