London Hotel, Port Melbourne. Image courtesy State Library of Victoria
London Hotel, Port Melbourne. Image courtesy State Library of Victoria

A 139-year-old pub in Port Melbourne has lost another battle in the attempt to save it from the wrecking ball.

Plans by the freehold owner, a development company owned by Gary Busuttil, to demolish the pub to construct residential apartments have been fought by local residents, the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, and Council.

Port Phillip Mayor, Bernadene Voss petitioned Planning Minister Richard Wynne for an interim protection order on the property, pending a review of its heritage eligibility.

But Wynne recently rejected the application for a heritage overlay, citing insufficient analysis to demonstrate social significance.

Busuttil’s TAB Developments wants to demolish The London and erect an eight-storey luxury apartment block. There is not yet an approved design, but permission to demolish the building can be exercised until 25 June, 2017.

Mayor Voss expressed her disappointment with the decision to The Leader, and said Council is assessing any further ways to save the Hotel.

“In light of the evidence in the recent heritage assessment and the depth of community feeling on this issue, we are now considering all our options, including seeking legal advice.”

Artist’s impression of the proposed development on the site of the London Hotel
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