By CASEY NEILL
Dandenong’s Croquet Club will soon be flattened.
Greater Dandenong councillors approved demolishing the vacant building in Dandenong Park at their 23 May council meeting.
The demolition will make way for implementing the adopted Dandenong Park Regional Leisure Precinct Master Plan 2007.
The plan was developed as part of the Revitalising Central Dandenong project and shows how the Dandenong Park precinct can become a multi-purpose open space area.
Removing the buildings, including the near century-old croquet club, will provide an open-plan and flexible space able to deliver large community events without impeding other users.
The club hosted its final match in April last year, its dwindling membership base unable to survive a relocation to make way for the park redevelopment.
The closure followed the neighbouring Dandenong City Bowling Club playing its last end in February last year.
The council in October last year approved demolition of the other three nearby buildings – a kindergarten, bowls club and soundshell – subject to a planning permit, which was granted on 2 May this year and applied to all four buildings.
Demolition was put on hold to consider other uses, but that assessment did not yield any suitable alternatives.
It found the building was too small, too old and too far from complementary facilities, such as those at Shepley Oval.
“If the building was to be recommissioned as a shared use facility, significant cost would be required to bring it up to current day standards,” the council report said.
“Accordingly, it is now proposed to follow the Master Plan objectives and demolish the building.
“Every attempt will be made to recover reusable assets and significant items such as the opening ceremony plaque before demolition proceeds.”