A fight is brewing over plans to build thousands of apartments at the site of Melbourne’s historic Preston Market.
For 50 years, the market has been the “heartbeat” of the area, but plans to modernise it have been met with dismay.
“It appears to us its an over-development of the site. It looks like it is a concrete jungle,” Darebin Mayor Lina Messina said.
The Victorian Planning Authority says the market is on prime real estate as it is next to Preston station and has space to build up to 2200 apartments.
“It could be a thriving precinct. A place for people seven days a week with a market at its heart,” Stuart Moseley from the Victorian Planning Authority said.
“We will be ensuring the best part of the building stays in tact.”
Under the plan, the existing fruit and vegetable shed would be retained, but the council fears a significant part of the market will be demolished.
“The cultural significance of the market will not stay in tact when you move that footprint,” Messina said.
Opponents have said the redevelopment will “rip the soul” out of the area.
Salta Properties, which owns the site, says it is committed to the longevity of the market and stall holders are being encouraged to have their say.