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The Queen Victoria Market Renewal pushes ahead

During the City of Melbourne's monthly meeting held on the 29th August, council voted in favour of the proposed design for the below ground operational area at the western end of Sheds A to D (also referred to as Q2). This area forms part of the enabling works for the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Project.

The project can now pursue the lodgement of relevant planning and heritage permit applications, to be considered by Heritage Victoria which under the proposed plans also includes the location of a vehicular access point at the Peel Street end of Shed D.

QVM Sheds A-D (Q2) Plans and section. Image: Grimshaw via CoM Council report

The revised draft plans for Q2 prepared by Grimshaw reduce the size of the footprint in exchange for a deeper excavation for the below-ground facilities at the western end of Sheds A, B, C & D. This means the eastern portions of the sheds, adjacent to Queens Street, don't need to be removed reducing the impact of the works on the heritage sheds.

The below-ground facilities are designed to include two levels and a mezzanine for new delivery and loading areas, storage, cool rooms and food preparation areas, waste management facilities, showers, toilets and break out spaces. Additionally one level of approx. 220 customer car parking with the balance of customer parking to be located as part of the Munro site redevelopment which is expected to deliver a further 500 car parks.

In terms of vehicular access to the proposed below ground operational area, a peer review of previous reports has been undertaken with a heritage architect, structural and logistic engineers and traffic management experts. with five options investigated and interrogated. The results of this analysis determined that the most suitable location for access was the preferred vehicle entry/exit point was on Peel Street at Shed D.

Alternate scheme for the QVM renewal by Friends of Queen Victoria Market. Image: John McNabb via The Age

As a result of the reduced operational facilities footprint fewer fruit and veg traders will be disrupted so the planned Market Pavilion along Queens Street has been reduced to 120m long, down from the 250m that was initially proposed. The $5.6 million structure will be built on the northern end of Queen St, providing space for displaced traders once the redevelopment gets underway in earnest.

Construction on the Market Pavilion will begin in October Meanwhile at a council meeting held a week earlier on the 22 August an alternative plan prepared by lobby group Friends of Queen Victoria Market was dismissed by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. The proposal by architect John McNabb included an elevated green space built on top of the existing parking area and sought to leave the heritage sheds untouched.

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