‘Buy’ plea rejected

Stefan Koomen outside the heritage-listed Captain Doveton house, also known as Doveton Height. Picture: GARY SISSONS. 396485_03

By Sahar Foladi

A small piece from the history of the Doveton community may be lost unless the City of Casey intervenes, says a concerned residents group.

One of the area’s few heritage-listed properties, at 24 Doveton Avenue in Eumemmerring, is up for sale for a maximum $850,000.

The spacious 960m vintage Captain Doveton house is named after Captain John and Margaret Doveton who bought the house in 1894, lived almost a decade before the house was sold on August 1903.

Despite their short stay in the town, in 1954 the area was named after Captain John Doveton.

The Doveton Eumemmerring Township Association (DETA) has written to the council to acquire the property to save it from private hands and maintain the house as part of the area’s history.

“The property holds immense significance for our community, embodying our history and story of our suburb’s creation,” chairperson Stefan Koomen said in his letter.

The group has expressed concern that the property may fall into disrepair if it remains in private hands.

The group remain hopeful of the outcome of their letter as they wait anxiously for a response however City of Casey manager planning and building Tania Asper has told Star Journal that the council has no intention to acquire the property.

“Doveton Height is a rare example of a surviving Victorian house in this urbanised and industrialised area, which demonstrates an early period of settlement and development — it is one of just two early houses remaining in Doveton Avenue.

“The property located at 24 Doveton Avenue in Eumemmerring (Doveton Height) is currently protected by a Heritage Overlay in the Casey Planning Scheme. Council has no plan to acquire the property.

“The current Casey Planning Scheme includes Clause 15.03 Heritage, Clause 21.07 Built Environment and Clause 43.01 Heritage Overlay.

“These controls recognise the heritage significance of the property, ensures that the building cannot be demolished without permission and discourages any inappropriate demolition and/or development to occur on the land.“

However, the DETA group doesn’t see any reason why the council have decided against the purchase.

“The house is heritage listed by the council, so they have recognised it but it’s just a matter of whether the council can own and gain control over it.

“I can’t see why they couldn’t do it,” Mr Koomen said.

“They have lots of other properties, like in Berwick, that are heritage sites.”

According to him, residents around Doveton share the same view.

If the council aquires the house, it could use it for an array of purposes as long as the heritage building is “retained and maintained“, DETA argues.

“DETA understands that the purchase of such a property entails financial considerations,“ Mr Koomen says.

“However, we believe that the benefits far outweigh the costs. The property could be rented out for residential, business or community use in the short term, serving as both an investment while retained for the community.”

Captain Doveton died at the age of 61 on 7 April 1904 of throat and liver cancer. At that time he lived at his Oakleigh house and didn’t have any children.

He was buried at the Oakleigh Cemetery.

Meanwhile his wife, who was also his first cousin, moved to Malvern East and Mordialloc. She passed away on December 1941 at an approximate age of 97 years and was buried at St Kilda Cemetery.