If you would like to help the campaign to prevent developers ruining our much loved Preston Market you can write in support to the Minister for Planning asking him to act on behalf of the community.
Below are sample letters you can use for inspiration or just copy.
Email addresses are included for you convenience.
Your support is very much appreciated.
No doubt you are aware of the efforts of our community, our MPs, and our Council to preserve Preston Market, an integral part of our city’s history and multi cultural icon.
As we mentioned at our first meeting, there comes a time in community struggle when we need to call on our Planning Minister to come to the aid of the people. We believe that time as arrived.
In order to ensure that proper process and true community justice prevails, we ask that you call in this development so that this occurs. We believe this is the democratic process. This will ensure that there is a level playing field and development takes place based on community approval of any part of the project that impacts on our market.
As a friend of Preston Market, I ask for your urgent support to help us save our market by ‘calling in’ the project to allow proper process and community consultation on the full development plan to take place.
Preston Market is not only iconic and part of our rich cultural history, but a thriving, current and vital part of our present and future. The market provides a space for buying fresh and affordable food, a gathering space, a space for micro businesses to flourish and many employment opportunities for locals.
It is imperative that any development of the area be consistent with the needs and wishes of traders and local residents.
Dear Minister Wynne
I am writing to you to express my concern at the proposed re-development of our local Preston Market.
My affiliation with the market dates back to the 1970’s when my late father worked as a butcher there. In more recent times it has been a place I visit weekly with my family to purchase affordable produce. It has become so much more than a purchasing a weekly supply of fresh food. My three children have grown up interacting with the traders, enjoying the unique and colourful atmosphere that it provides, watching people from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds connect and very often meet for lunch in the fabulous central food court. It saddened me to think that a traditional 7 day a week retail centre is proposed for the sight. We already have multiple options in Darebin that provide major retail experience. For the last 15 years, when we purchase our dozen eggs from Preston Market ,the trader with out fail, every time opens the carton and checks every egg individually for potential cracks. This certainly is not something you would expect or experience from a major retail chain.
It must also be recognised that the Preston Market provides a safe and welcoming environment for many of those who are socially isolated or marginalised. For some members of the community it is the weekly address of their name from traders and knowing their regular order that gets them out of the house that day. Protecting this environment and social interaction are the basic foundations that provide the grounds for a more inclusive and cohesive society.
Minister Wynne, we are encouraged by your responsiveness thus far, meeting with committee members from Save our Preston Market group (SOPM) in September and more recently visiting the market personally. We feel the proposed re-development, in particular the addition of a 7 day a week traditional retail centre will undermine and corrode the unique character of the market and have adverse impacts on the community now and into the future. For this reason I urge you to immediately “call in” the project to allow for genuine community consultation and ensure that this beloved market is not destroyed on your watch.
Dear Minister Wynne
I am writing to express my concern at the proposed re-development of our much loved Preston Market.
As you may be aware Darebin Council released ‘on advertising’ only stage 1C of the proposed development just before the Christmas break-up, making it very difficult for the stakeholder community to participate in any consultative or objection process.
Further, at the same time, Darebin Council released for ‘perusal only’ the planning application for Stage 1B of the redevelopment which includes two x ten story buildings. Council has been asked why stage 1B of the redevelopment was not released ‘on advertising’ and why the community cannot have a say through the normal process, as third party objectors, as regulated by the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This is very worrying as Stage 1B, if it goes ahead, will establish a high rise precedent for the site which is currently low rise. This precedent is very worrying for future stages like 1C and those that have, as yet, not been released.
Darebin Council, once again, has acted against community concerns by ignoring our rights protected under the Planning and Environment Act, 1987.
You may be reluctant to ‘call in’ planning applications, especially before they go through the proper consultative and approval process dictated but the legislation. But, as Darebin Council have overridden and ignored our rights it seems the only way the community can have a fair say is if you ‘call in’ the application and establish an alternative process that, at least, includes the right to object to the Stage 1B proposal.
Recently, an elderly citizen told me that his family go back five generations living in Preston and that the original Preston Market was on an alternative site before moving to the current site slated for redevelopment. This means that the market existed for more than 50 years and while it may not meet heritage criteria for the current precinct, surely the market itself meets heritage criteria and should be protected as such.
My own relationship with the market goes back thirteen years when I bought a house in East Preston. As a single person who lives alone I have appreciated the community atmosphere of the market, the like of which I never experienced at other markets in Melbourne. Over the years I have come to know the stall holders and staff very well. I consider my weekly visits more of a social outing than a necessary shop and worry that the redevelopment of the market is forcing stall holders out and will detrimentally affect the caring community it provides. Recently I was reminded of how caring the community at Preston Market really is when, not for the first time, another shopper was polite enough to ensure she was not served ahead of me. Again, something I have never encountered at any other market.
As a pensioner I am very appreciative of the good value, low cost, high quality, and fresh produce currently provided at the market and worry that the proposed development will force the traders to increase the prices of their produce so that they are no longer affordable for low income shoppers like me. I worry of the long term detrimental social impact of this on our community health and well being.
Currently Preston Market caters to a very broad demographic that is drawn from far beyond the local community. The building of hundreds of one and two bedroom apartments on the site, as per the planning proposal 1B and 1C, will negatively impact on the diversity of market goers, narrowing to predominantly one or two subgroups who can afford to live in small, expensive apartments.
Apartment dwellers tend to outgrow small spaces and will become more transient than those who live in other Darebin neighbourhoods. This discourages development of the type of caring community we have come to appreciate and want to see more of in Darebin. In our neighbourhoods where we look out for and support each other there are lower crime rates, safer streets and better health outcomes where our ageing population can age in place and we have a diverse mix of population from babies to the elderly with all the advantages that brings.
The proposal of a traditional 7 day a week retail centre for the sight will also negatively impact on the valued attributes of the current market. We already have multiple options in Darebin that provide major retail experience which draw a less diverse crowd. I would not want to see the high rise population ostracize particular community groups from their enjoyment of the market.
I feel that the proposed re-development will permanently alter and corrode the integrity of the Preston Market and will negatively impact the experience for market goers and traders.
I urge you and your colleagues to please act to protect our market before it is too late.
Many thanks for your time and consideration,