THE Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny has approved Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s amendment to apply a permanent heritage overlay to protect Fenton Hall, at Merricks North.
The mayor Cr Steve Holland said the council was now working with the Friends of Fenton Hall on a restoration project to make the hall operational once more.
“It will require fixing some structural and pest issues, including the rebuilding of several sections of the hall,” he said.
“The restoration project is still in the design phase. Once that is complete, we will need to consider how we can fund the necessary work.”
While no one from the Friends of Fenton Hall was available to comment, supporters of the hall in Merricks North have been campaigning for its repair and protection for several years.
Last year Merricks North resident Sue Cusack said there was still a lot of work needed to make the hall useable, but supporters hoped it could become a “vital social and entertainment hub for the area”.
She said it was pleasing that the shire had recognised the importance of community halls and applied for heritage status for the building.
The 1930s-built hall recently underwent emergency works to halt and repair weather damage.
Until October 2017, the hall was used for meetings, theatre company rehearsals, men’s shed presentations, life drawing classes, playgroups, trivia nights and celebrations such as birthdays, reunions and weddings.
Friends of Fenton Hall will hold a picnic at the hall, 181A Bittern-Dromana Road, on Sunday 29 October from midday to 2pm. All welcome.
For details about the picnic email email@example.com