Hoffman Brickworks owner appeals Emergency Order for make safe works at the Building Appeals Board (community information)

Update: 24 December 2020

Hoffman Brickworks owner appeals Emergency Order for make safe works at the Building Appeals Board (community information)

On 11 December 2020, the owner of the Hoffman Brickworks site lodged an appeal with the Buildings Appeals Board (BAB) challenging the Emergency Order issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor. The Emergency Order requires make safe work to be undertaken including partial demolition works for the State Heritage listed corrugated iron former Pressing Shed. These works were required to commence 7 December 2020.  The owner is challenging the order to ‘partially demolish’ the building, and wishes to completely demolish the building.

A BAB hearing will take place 20 January 2021 to consider the matter.  Whilst the appeal has meant that the make safe works have not been commenced as required by 7 December 2020, the Municipal Building Surveyor is satisfied that there is no immediate safety risk to residents.


Update: 4 December 2020

Emergency order issued for make safe works to Hoffman Brickworks, Brunswick (community information)

On 22 October 2020, Moreland City Council notified residents near Hoffman Brickworks of emergency ‘make safe’ works, including partial demolition works for the State Heritage listed corrugated iron former Pressing Shed. These are scheduled to take place over a 6 to 8 week period.

Hoffman Brickworks is included on the Victorian Heritage Register.  Heritage Victoria, the State Government’s heritage agency, oversees all heritage permit applications, as well as maintenance, restoration and heritage interpretation works.

Moreland City Council is responsible for the consideration of planning permit applications; this does not include heritage matters when approvals have been issued by Heritage Victoria.

The landowner has had obligations under the Heritage Act to maintain the heritage buildings since purchasing the land two decades ago. As part of the approvals to develop the site over the years the owner has entered into agreements with Council that reflect Heritage Victoria obligations to retain and restore these state significant heritage buildings. The owner’s lack of maintenance, along with the fire in 2018 which damaged the Corrugated Iron Pressing Shed, has contributed to the current poor state of the building.

What has occurred since October?

Corrugated Iron Pressing Shed

Following an expert structural engineering assessment, the roof and upper levels of the Corrugated Iron Pressing Shed are required to be demolished due to safety reasons. Council’s MBS has issued an Emergency Order for these works to occur. 

Free standing Chimney No 1

A rusting and heavy corroded steel equipment box, pipework and a steel-plated door has been removed from the base of the chimney to address public safety.  Future brick work repairs and repointing is scheduled to the base and upper level of the chimney.

What is happening with the development application with Heritage Victoria?

The landowner has applied to Heritage Victoria to completely demolish the Corrugated Iron Pressing Shed and Steam Engine House. The proposal is to build a multi-storey building with apartments, ground floor café and commercial uses that include some of the heritage equipment. Public notification of the application by Heritage Victoria finished on 10 November 2020 and 54 objections were received.

Moreland City Council considered the application at its 26 August 2020 Planning & Related Matters meeting and resolved to confirm its objection to the application. The landowner has not adequately justified the need for complete demolition of all buildings due to contamination and structural assumptions.  Council also consider the lack of maintenance by the owner should not result in the loss of important heritage buildings for the community.

Before re-development of the site can occur, the landowner must obtain a planning permit in addition to a Heritage Victoria permit. An application to Council has not been received. Any application to Council for redevelopment of the site would also be placed on public notification.

For more details on our objection to the owner’s application to Heritage Victoria, you can read the Council report at bit.ly/CouncilReport2020-08-26.

The landowner's application to Heritage Victoria for demolition and redevelopment of the former Hoffman Brickworks brick pressing shed and steam engine house at 72-106 Dawson Street, Brunswick