A heritage World War II building at the former Werribee Satellite Aerodrome will be relocated and another will be demolished, if a planning permit application from Melbourne Water is approved.
The water authority has applied to Heritage Victoria for permission to demolish a workshop at the site.
Melbourne Water is also seeking to conduct conservation works at one hangar and relocate it, and undertake “minor works” at another hangar.
The Werribee Satellite Aerodrome, which was built in 1942-43 and served in WWII as a satellite to the Point Cook and Laverton RAAF airfields, was originally home to five timber trussed hangars, a workshop building and an area of accommodation and administration buildings. Nowadays, only the hangars and workshop remain.
Melbourne Water’s property manager Karyn Hunter said both hangars and the associated land were part of the Riverwalk Estate in Werribee, which is being developed in partnership with Development Victoria.
Ms Hunter said the planning application included a proposal to conserve and relocate one of the hangars.
She said the ultimate plan was to locate both of the hangars together, to expand and create a museum complex for the restoration of the B-24 Liberator aircraft.
“Melbourne Water has been working with a number of government agencies, heritage architects and the B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia Group to identify the best preservation options for the hangars,” Ms Hunter said.
“The hangar on New Farm Road is in poor structural condition and … requires significant works to ensure preservation.”
Ms Hunter said a number of submissions supporting the planning permit had been received during a public feedback period.
B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia Group secretary Judith Gilbert said the association was “very excited about Melbourne Water’s plan”.
“This will result in the relocation of the large hangar [H1] from its current position to close to the restoration hangar [H2],” she said.
“Last year the B-24 Liberator restoration museum was formally accredited by Museums Australia, so Hangar 1 will be incorporated into an expanded museum precinct.
“The restored B-24 Liberator bomber will be showcased in this hangar, which was designed in the 1940s to accommodate large aircraft.
“Instead of remaining in a state of disrepair Hangar 1 will enhance the appeal of the B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia as a tourist destination in Werribee.”