The Heide Museum of Modern Art is considering its options for when the North East Link is due to cut underneath its grounds when it commences construction.
The Museum’s Directors are weighing up asking the Victorian Government for $70 million in funding to build an additional wing for its permanent collections, which will also offset the tunnel due to run underneath Bulleen. The Yarra Valley Country Club borders the Museum, with the Museum looking at potentially utilising some of the Club’s land to build the wing. The second option is to transform the gallery carpark for the space.
The Country Club, if rezoned, would be worth far more than its current valuation of just under $11 million. The Club’s owner, Bruce Mathieson, will close the course later this month and is looking to take advantage of rezoning, but Manningham Councillor Stephen Mayne tells The Age that the Heide should be the priority.
“Heide will be boxed in by the North East Link. It would make a lot of sense for the state government to work with billionaire Bruce Mathieson to help facilitate an expansion of Heide onto the neighbouring land currently occupied by his Yarra Valley Country Club site,” he says.
The North East Link’s tunnel passes underneath the Museum’s northern boundary. To coincide with the roadworks, the Heide has requested a new entry to attract new visitors travelling on the road. The Link is seen as an opportunity by the Heide Directors to revitalise the entire Museum. There is also a concern that the Museum will see a reduction in visitors due to construction of the road.
Manningham Council opposes the plan to rezone the Country Club for housing, with Mayor Michelle Kleinert claiming it has major flaws. The decision to close the Yarra Valley golf course has been met with opposition by local Councillors who believe it was done prematurely.
Victorian Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson believes that the revised plan for the North East Link will protect the Heide and will improve public access. A spokesperson for Mathieson tells The Age that their proposal for the land includes a number of public benefits including 16 hectares of open green spaces on the Yarra River.
Images: Heide Museum, Big Build Victoria