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Victorian Heritage Register
Statement of Significance
What is significant?The Former Police Station Complex including the former police station, residence, stables and lock-up.
How is it significant?The Former Police Station Complex is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Why is it significant?The Former Police Station Complex is historically significant for its associations with the police force in the southwest of Victoria in the late nineteenth century. As a complex of substantial masonry buildings constructed from 1883 to 1888, it demonstrates the prominence of Warrnambool during this era, as well as the size and importance of its police force. Retaining its station building, stables, residence and lock-up the complex allows the operation of the police force during this period to be better understood than most other places with the same association. [Criterion A]
FORMER POLICE STATION COMPLEX - HistoryWarrnambool was officially surveyed by William Pickering in 1846. On Pickering’s plan, published in 1847, the block between Liebig, Kepler, Timor and Merri Streets was reserved for government purposes. By the 1850s several government buildings were constructed on the site, including a watch house. As Warrnambool became Victoria’s most important south-west port in the 1870s and 1880s, local representatives advocated for improved facilities for the police. The result was the surviving complex of police buildings, constructed between 1883 and 1888. The four buildings were designed by architect E R Laver of the Public Works Department and were relatively large and substantial for the period. The police station building largely comprised barracks-style accommodation while the stables incorporated five stalls with a harness room and loft. The complex was constructed in proximity to the Warrnambool Court House (VHR H1674), the Orderly Room and Residence (VHR H0543) and the Former Customs House (VHR H0463). The buildings are now used by South-West TAFE.
FORMER POLICE STATION COMPLEX - Permit Exemptions
IntroductionThe purpose of this information is to assist owners and other interested parties when considering or making decisions regarding works to a registered place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to making a permit application. Discussing proposed works will assist in answering questions the owner may have and aid any decisions regarding works to the place.
It is acknowledged that alterations and other works may be required to keep places and objects in good repair and adapt them for use into the future. However, under the Heritage Act 2017 a person must not knowingly, recklessly or negligently remove, relocate or demolish, damage or despoil, develop or alter or excavate all or any part of any part of a registered place without approval. It should be noted that the definition of ‘develop’ in the Act includes any works on, over or under the place.
If a person wishes to undertake works or activities in relation to a registered place or registered object, they must apply to the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria for a permit. The purpose of a permit is to enable appropriate change to a place and to effectively manage adverse impacts on the cultural heritage significance of a place as a consequence of change. If an owner is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that Heritage Victoria be contacted.
Permits are required for anything which alters the place or object, unless a permit exemption is granted. Permit exemptions usually cover routine maintenance and upkeep issues faced by owners as well as minor works or works to the elements of the place or object that are not significant. They may include appropriate works that are specified in a conservation management plan. Permit exemptions can be granted at the time of registration (under section 38 of the Heritage Act) or after registration (under section 92 of the Heritage Act). It should be noted that the addition of new buildings to the registered place, as well as alterations to the interior and exterior of existing buildings requires a permit, unless a specific permit exemption is granted.
Disrepair of registered place or registered objectUnder section 152 of the Act, the owner of a registered place or registered object must not allow that place or object to fall into disrepair.
Failure to maintain a registered place or registered objectUnder section 153 of the Act, the owner of a registered place or registered object must not fail to maintain that place or object to the extent that its conservation is threatened.
Conservation management plansIt is recommended that a Conservation Management Plan is developed to manage the place in a manner which respects its cultural heritage significance.
Aboriginal cultural heritageIf works are proposed which have the potential to disturb or have an impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage it is necessary to contact Aboriginal Victoria to ascertain any requirements under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. If any Aboriginal cultural heritage is discovered or exposed at any time it is necessary to immediately contact Aboriginal Victoria to ascertain requirements under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
Other approvalsPlease be aware that approval from other authorities (such as local government) may be required to undertake works.
ArchaeologyAlthough there is no identified archaeology of State level significance at the place, a Heritage Inventory site, the Former Civic Buildings, Kepler Street, Warrnambool (H7321-0036), covers a large area of the South-West TAFE site, including the area occupied by the Former Police Station Complex (VHR H1698). It may be necessary to apply for a consent to undertake works or activities on an archaeological site. If ground disturbing works are planned in this area, the Archaeology team at Heritage Victoria should be contacted.
- All works should ideally be informed by a Conservation Management Plan prepared for the place. The Executive Director is not bound by any Conservation Management Plan, and permits still must be obtained for works suggested in any Conservation Management Plan.
- Nothing in this determination prevents the Heritage Council from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
- Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits where applicable.
- All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the Former Police Station Complex.
- Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the Former Police Station Complex are revealed which relate to the significance of the place, then the exemption covering such works must cease and Heritage Victoria must be notified as soon as possible.
Specific Permit ExemptionsThe following categories of works or activities (permit exemptions) do not require a permit from Heritage Victoria. They are considered not to cause harm to the cultural heritage significance of the place.
- Minor repairs and maintenance which replaces like with like. Repairs and maintenance must maximise protection and retention of fabric and include the conservation of existing details or elements. Any repairs and maintenance must not exacerbate the decay of fabric due to chemical incompatibility of new materials, obscure fabric or limit access to such fabric for future maintenance.
- Maintenance, repair and replacement of existing external services such as plumbing, electrical cabling, surveillance systems, pipes or fire services.
- Repair to, or removal of items such as antennae, aerials, air conditioners and associated pipe work, ducting and wiring.
- Works or activities, including emergency stabilisation, necessary to secure safety in an emergency where a structure or part of a structure has been irreparably damaged or destabilised and poses a safety risk to its users or the public. The Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, must be notified within seven days of the commencement of these works or activities.
- Painting of previously painted external and internal surfaces in the same colour, finish and product type provided that preparation or painting does not remove all evidence of earlier paint finishes or schemes. This exemption does not apply to areas where there are specialist paint techniques such as graining, marbling, stencilling, hand-painting, wallpapered surfaces, or to unpainted, oiled or varnished surfaces.
- Cleaning including the removal of surface deposits by the use of low-pressure water (to maximum of 300 psi at the surface being cleaned) and neutral detergents and mild brushing and scrubbing with plastic not wire brushes.
- The installation and/or erection of temporary elements associated with short term activities (such as events or building maintenance) for a maximum period of 3 months and no more than once a year after which time they must be removed and any affected areas of the place made good to match the condition of the place prior to installation. This includes:
- Temporary (lightweight) structures such as shelters, marquees and tents which are weighted down with sand bags or water tanks and minimize the requirement for driven metal stakes.
- Temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems.
- Temporary built or mobile structures, vendor and toilet vans which are located on existing hardstand and paved/asphalted areas and pathways or on turf areas with a protective surface (board or track mats).
- Temporary infrastructure, including signage, lighting, public address systems, furniture and the like which do not require fixing into the ground.
- Works to maintain or upgrade existing bathrooms and kitchenettes including installing new appliances, retiling and the like.
- Installation, removal or replacement of existing electrical wiring. If wiring is currently exposed, it should remain exposed. If it is fully concealed it should remain fully concealed.
- Removal or replacement of light switches and power outlets.
- Maintenance, repair and replacement light fixtures, tracks and the like in existing locations. ? Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings, window furnishings, and devices for mounting artworks and noticeboards.
- Removal or replacement of smoke and fire detectors, alarms and the like, of the same size and in existing locations.
- Repair, removal or replacement of existing ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the central plant is concealed, and that the work is done in a manner which does not alter building fabric.
- Installation of plant within the roof space, providing that it does not impact on the external appearance of the building or involve structural changes.
- Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
Landscape/ outdoor areas
Hard landscaping and services
- Like for like repair and maintenance of hard landscaping including carparks, paving, stairs, edging and footpaths where the materials, scale, form and design is unchanged.
- Removal or replacement of external directional, informational and promotional signage provided the size, location and material remains the same.
- Installation of physical barriers or traps to enable vegetation protection and management of vermin such as rats, mice and possums.
Gardening, trees and plants
- The processes of gardening including mowing, pruning, mulching, fertilising, removal of dead or diseased plants (excluding trees), replanting of existing garden beds, disease and weed control and maintenance to care for existing plants.
- Management and maintenance of trees including formative and remedial pruning, removal of deadwood and suckers and pest and disease control.
- Emergency tree works to maintain public safety provided the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, is notified within seven days of the removal or works occurring.
- Removal of environmental and noxious weeds.
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