Pentridge Public Realm
Moreland City Council
Context provided landscape heritage advice on the significant street trees along the east side of Champ Street, Coburg, with two key objectives: determine an optimal outcome for the street trees along Champ Street from a heritage perspective; and determine the impact on the heritage values of the trees from the loss of the one tree approved for removal by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The Champ Street trees comprise a row of mature River Red Gums (planted late 19th century), mature Canary Island Date Palms (planted early 20th century), and Spotted Gums (planted c.1979-89). The street trees were included in the Heritage Overlay of the Moreland Planning Scheme in 2010.
The history and significance of the trees needed clarification, as little historical research had previously been undertaken. A relationship between the trees and the adjacent Pentridge Prison site had been noted as possible, but not explored. The project concluded that the River Red Gums and Canary Island Date Palms were primarily significant as a long-standing part of Pentridge Prison’s setting and its interface with the ‘outside’ world, and also as mature specimens dating from the early history of the area. Aesthetically, the street trees as a whole on the east side of Champ Street contribute significantly to the amenity of the local streetscape.
The understanding of significance underpinned Context’s recommendations for the street trees, and these will be used to inform a revised version of the Champ Street public realm masterplan.