Owners of Footscray’s fire-razed Little Saigon market have an extra year to begin redeveloping the site.
Fire tore through the iconic Footscray market last December, destroying more than half the building and causing more than $12 million damage.
Prior to the fire, the owners had planned its redevelopment, once the lease expired on the supermarket and tenants had vacated, which was to be earlier this month.
A 2012 planning permit allows a ground level market topped by two apartment towers up to 12 storeys high, with 260 dwellings. The permit, which was due to expire last week, has already been extended twice.
Maribyrnong council’s planning services director Nigel Higgins said an application to extend the permit for Little Saigon’s redevelopment a third time was given on March 30.
“An extension of one year was granted as it met the parameters set out in a number of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decisions and zoning requirements,” Mr Higgins said.
Owner Binh Le said the redevelopment will go ahead, but the site’s immediate future is still “up in the air”.
A clean-up notice for the site was issued in January after high temperatures combined with rotting vegetables, meat and fish to produce a putrid smell.
Mr Le said the clean-up took place as soon as demolition approval was obtained.
“We did have the company responsible for all that come out and clean up.”
Mr Higgins said the extensive cleanup complied with the relevant local laws and environmental health requirements.
“The site is being monitored by Local Laws on a regular basis to ensure there are no adverse amenity issues or impacts on the community,” he said.
“If issues arise, the owners are notified and requested to resolve them. This will continue whilst the site is in a state of demolition.”