A CONTROVERSIAL plan to heritage list Frankston homes has been abandoned.
Frankston Council’s “gap heritage review” had identified 24 sites to be considered for heritage protection. In addition to the Riviera Hotel in Seaford and the Frankston Mechanics Institute, several local homes were also earmarked for heritage overlay.
Homeowners set to be affected by the heritage review reacted with outrage. They complained that the process had been poorly executed, and that some homes had been listed in the review without proper site visits being conducted (“Homeowners unhappy with heritage review”, The Times, 25/4/21).
At their 31 May meeting, Frankston councillors voted to formally set aside the heritage study.
A statement from Frankston Council read that it “supported the protection of Frankston’s heritage as it provides essential links with the past and help us to define our shared community history, but not at the expense of concerned property owners.”
Cr Suzette Tayler said “we are the voice of residents and it’s clear this was not the path that residents wanted to go down.”
In place of the heritage review, councillors agreed to note a separate report which looked into council’s heritage grant program. The report recommends spending an additional $60,000 on the annual program at the mid-year budget review, taking the total grant funding amount to $100,000.
“An increase in the heritage grant funding will enable property owners of existing heritage places included in the heritage overlay of the Frankston planning scheme to access these funds for maintenance and restoration works of their heritage places,” council’s statement read. “Further to this, councillors voted to refer consideration of funding to the 2022/23 budget process to employ a heritage adviser enabling advice and support to landowners with properties already in the heritage overlay.”