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Hoffman Brickwords updates

14 May 2021

Update: 5 November 2021

New Emergency Order requiring complete dismantling of Corrugated Iron former Brick Pressing Shed

Hoffman Brickworks is included on the Victorian Heritage Register.  Heritage Victoria is the State Government agency that oversees all heritage permit applications, as well as maintenance, restoration and heritage interpretation works. Council is responsible for the consideration of planning permit applications. Permits from Council and Heritage Victoria are not required when the Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS) issues an Emergency Order to make buildings safe.

Map of brick steam engine house and pressing shed at Hoffman Brickworks

Site contamination and new Emergency Order to dismantle the Pressing Shed

In August 2021, an expert contamination report was provided to Council and Heritage Victoria. The report concluded that approximately 3-6 metres of soil must be excavated under the Pressing Shed to clean up the land. This is required to comply with an Environment Protection Authority Clean Up Notice. An independent Structural Engineer was then commissioned by Heritage Victoria. The engineer determined that it is not practical or feasible to retain the Pressing Shed given the works required to clean up the land.

Given the above, and further deterioration of the building following storm events of 29 October, a new Emergency Order has been issued on 1 November 2021. The Emergency Order requires the owner completely dismantle the Pressing Shed. This work is expected to commence in November and be completed in early 2022.

Council, Heritage Victoria and the landowner are working closely to ensure important heritage materials and machinery are temporarily relocated, so they can be later returned as part of future heritage interpretation.  

Corrugated iron former brick pressing shed at Hoffman Brickworks

Photo above: Corrugated iron former Brick Pressing Shed
Photo below: Brick press machinery within the Pressing Shed

Brick press machinery within the shed at Hoffman Brickworks

What is happening with the free-standing Chimney?

In October 2021, an Emergency Order as well as a direction from Heritage Victoria has been issued to further protect and make the chimney safe. This includes scaffolding to be erected to the chimney for brick work repairs and repointing.

Freestanding chimney at Hoffman Brickworks

Photo: Free-standing chimney

What is happening with the former Steam Engine House building?

The former Steam Engine House is located on the corner of Dawson Street and Brickworks Drive. Works were completed to make this building safe during 2020. It is not subject to an Emergency Order. Any demolition or future development of this building will require permits from Heritage Victoria and Council.

Former steam engine house at Hoffman Brickworks

Photo: Former Steam Engine House

What is happening with the development application with Heritage Victoria?

In 2020, the landowner applied to Heritage Victoria to demolish the former Pressing Shed and Steam Engine House. The proposal included a multi-storey building with apartments, ground floor café and commercial uses that include some of the heritage equipment. The application was withdrawn in 2021.

Before redevelopment can occur, the landowner must obtain permits from Heritage Victoria and Council.  If an application is received, it will be placed on public notice. This provides opportunity for submissions before a decision is made.

Join us at a community forum

An online resident meeting will be held on Tuesday 30 November 2021 between 6 -7pm where we will invite questions from the community and provide further information.  If you wish to attend, please RSVP by 26 November 2021 to Lisa Gallagher on pagmcd@moreland.vic.gov.au or call 9240 1280.

Find out more

If you have any other questions or concerns please contact Darren Camilleri, Moreland Council Planning Coordinator on 9240 1281.

Update: 14 May 2021

Building Appeals Board determination upholds the Municipal Building Surveyor’s Emergency Order for make safe works

On 4 May 2021, the Building Appeals Board (BAB) upheld the Emergency Order issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS). The Emergency Order requires make safe work to be undertaken including partial demolition works for the State Heritage listed corrugated iron former Pressing Shed. The owner had challenged the order to ‘partially demolish’ the building to facilitate the full demolition of the building, arguing the Emergency Order was issued in error by taking heritage issues into consideration. However, the BAB disagreed and found the MBS had appropriately issued the Emergency Order noting it was relevant for the MBS to consider the heritage significance of the building.

The Owner is required to comply with the Emergency Order and Council are now working through the next steps to ensure the owner meets their obligations for compliance.

Read the Building Appeal Board decision on the Building Appeals Board of Victoria website.

Update: 24 December 2020

Hoffman Brickworks owner appeals Emergency Order for make safe works at the Building Appeals Board

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

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 and 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 our Council report (PDF) from the October 26 2020.

The photos below are from 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.