In May 2021 The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) released draft plans for redeveloping the Preston Market, which is jointly owned by Salta Properties and Medich Corporation.
The two companies were seeking to build 13 new apartment buildings between 12 and 20 storeys high, retaining the existing fruit and veg shed but relocating everything else to a market area of “about the same size”, mainly facing Cramer Street. After meeting local opposition, the proposal was later amended to reduce the building heights to between four and 14 storeys.
Earlier today the state government rejected the amended proposal.
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“I want to thank every member of the community who’s taken the time to have their say on this important landmark in Melbourne’s north,” says Victorian Planning minister Sonya Kilkenny. “We’ve heard that preserving the market is a priority, and that’s what we’ll deliver.”
Modernising the 53-year-old market has been a secondary but important priority for the state government in recent years, after major projects such as the Metro Tunnel, Suburban Rail Loop and level crossing removals. That’s still the position, but the VPA says “more work is needed to protect the historical, aesthetic, technical and social significance of the market”. It's begun drafting new planning controls, including height limits and and a heritage overlay, in order to protect the market.
Kilkenny will release a planning scheme amendment “in the coming months” to bring the new controls into effect. It’ll then be up to the would-be developers Salta and Medich to submit a new plan that meets the new regulations, again to be approved by the VPA before construction can begin.
In short: Preston Market in its current form won't change for at least another year or two.