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Northcote Bowl

[received by email]
To fellow architects and fellow Northcote residents,
There has been an application submitted to Darebin council for the complete demolition of Northcote Bowl on Victoria Rd to make way for the development of approx 96 dwellings on the site. This being one of my favorite buildings in Northcote, I find this possibility very upsetting.
Northcote Bowl was designed by Sydney Architects Fisher & Jackson (through Bowling Centre Holdings - pioneers of bowling alleys in Australia) in association with Melbourne Architects Bernard Evans and Partners in 1963 as part of the tinpin bowling boom in Australia. It is, along with Sunshine Bowl, the largest suburban bowling alley in Metropolitan Melbourne and is also one of the remaining 4 intact 1960's bowling alleys in Melbourne.(refer to Appendices of council meeting minutes). It is also a good modernist brick building (the site was aptly originally owned by the Northcote Brick Company) with the use of some pretty cool and unique parabolic arches (even the car park layout is a bit different!)
It has important historical, social and architectural significance to Northcote and Melbourne and I strongly believe it would be a shame to see it go.
So far there have been 35 objections to the development but these mainly relate to the loss of amenity and car parking issues.
There is currently no heritage listing but council have been looking into getting it listed and have applied for interim heritage controls. However it should be noted that heritage controls do not preclude redevelopment of the site (please refer to the council meeting minutes).
Please refer to the following links for further information:   (page 45 of the PDF) (check out the original sketch from 1963 - alot more arches- very cool)
The planning officer processing the application is Gavin Crawford 8470 8536. The plans are still available to be viewed and they are still taking objections. No permit or notice of decision has been granted yet, it sounds like it will be in council for a while yet.
I believe that council is keen to preserve it but more objections may add gravity to their arguments. So, if you are interested in saving this building from demolition, I would suggest you submit an objection or support it for a heritage listing. If this matter does not concern you, then i am sorry to have wasted your time!
You can address your objections RE: Application No. D655/2008 – 166 Victoria Rd, Northcote (Northcote Bowl) to:

Attention: Gavin Crawford
Planning Department
Darebin City Council
P O Box 91
Preston, Victoria, 3072
I welcome any feedback on the matter.


Sarah Lake



  • edited 12:28PM
    The bowl appears doomed, having had the final of two applications for a heritage overlay turned down on Friday.

    Planning Minister Justin Madden: “The committee’s assessment of potential local heritage controls agreed with Heritage Victoria’s determination that the former Northcote Bowl is not of significant state heritage.”
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