Hesse would like to provide assurance to our community regarding funds raised for the Op Shop Rebuild Appeal.

Re-establishing the Winchelsea Op Shop is a priority for Hesse and remains the focus for our Fundraising Appeal. The funds raised from the Op Shop Appeal are currently being held to secure a future bigger and better Op Shop site for the benefit of Winchelsea’s growing community. Zoning restrictions currently limit commercial use at 44-46 Main Street. Hesse is working with council to facilitate the potential future use of this site for the Op Shop.

The Hospital Auxiliary has entered a two year lease to open a temporary Op Shop at 10 Willis Street Winchelsea, which will open in coming months.

History of the Op Shop

In 2011 Hesse Rural Health’s Hospital Auxiliary established an Op Shop at 2 Gosney Street, Winchelsea, as a fundraising effort for Hesse Rural Health and to fill a community need. The former building and land of 2 Gosney St is owned by Hesse Rural Health, and all proceeds raised by the shop were donated to support Hesse Rural Health.

The shop was a lifeblood of the Winchelsea community, providing great friendships to the passionate volunteers and its many customers, while raising $80,000 annually. The Op Shop provided affordable clothing and homeware needs to Winchelsea residents, reducing the need to spend time and money travelling to the larger towns 30 minutes away.

Unfortunately in November 2020 a devastating fire caused the Op Shop to completely burn down.

 

Why can’t we just replace the old Op Shop?

Due to General Residential Zoning restrictions at 2 Gosney Street, Hesse was unable to rebuild the Op Shop at its former location.

The current planning application renovates 44-46 Main St without changing the use. A planning scheme amendment is currently under way to the heritage overlay for the site, that would allow future commercial use to be able to be considered at the site.

 

44-46 Main Street Proposed Future Site of Op Shop

Following the fire, master planning identified the best location to rebuild the Op Shop was at 44-46 Main St. Hesse had previously purchased 44-46 Main St as part of a strategic decision to acquire the neighbouring lands surrounding Hesse Rural Health to be preserved for future development.

The following benefits were identified for 44-46 Main St as the proposed future site of the Op Shop:

  • 44-46 Main St is a larger block size, than 2 Gosney Street.
  • The site has two access points.
  • Existing use rights demonstrated for previous retail activity for more than 15 years.
  • Shop exposure from a Main Street location.
  • Established service lane entry and on-street parking.
  • A new life created for the current dilapidated buildings that the health service has no budget to repair, and thus increasing the Main Street appeal for Winchelsea.
  • Preservation of the historically significant Late Victorian era shop and dwelling dating back to the 1890’s and the added stepped parapet in 1927 in line with the Heritage Overlay.
  • Allows for the preservation of the Main St/Gosney St corner for future growth of Hesse Rural Health based on Winchelsea needs in the next 20-40 years.

The development and restoration of this once-loved historical building will create a much-needed usable space for Hesse, restoring life to a currently dilapidated building and bringing back historical charm to this end of Main Street in Winchelsea.

44-46 Main St, does also fall under the General Residential Zone and has a historic overlay. The site is also a smaller space than what the Op Shop was outgrowing at 2 Gosney Street, therefore would need extensive renovation for this renewed purpose.

 

How is a new Op Shop to be funded?

Hesse plans to use the insurance proceeds from that building loss of 2 Gosney St, to complete this restoration and refurbishment works at 44-46 Main Street, making a versatile space for Hesse to utilise.

Insurance proceeds are available to replace a similar building to the one from 2 Gosney Street. However this type of historical restoration, while significant for Winchelsea’s township and providing for an ideal location, comes with additional financial challenges.

The current size of 44-46 Main St is smaller than the previous shop that was already growing out of at 2 Gosney St. Building a larger shop extension will accommodate the growing community needs, whilst also providing much needed fundraising to our local health service.

A fundraising appeal has been established to create a building fund, with a target set at $400,000. The Annual Appeal, or commonly referred to as the Op Shop Appeal for the purposes of 2021 and 2022 calendar year fundraising efforts, raised funds are restricted for the use of establishing a permanent Op Shop only. Therefore no other building works or pop up Op Shops will utilise Op Shop Appeal raised funds.

 

 

Where is the current progress with the planning application for the new Op Shop?

Following consultation during the planning stage, a planning application was submitted to the Surf Coast Shire in early September 2021. Feedback has been received regarding the existing use rights, the previous substantial purpose for which the land was previously used considered more in relation to a convenience shop or cafe, and more evidence has been requested.

 

Why hasn’t work begun at 44-46 Main St?

** Awaiting planning application **

During planning discussions regarding the development of 44-46 Main St, a minor irregularity was noted in the Surf Coast Shire Planning Scheme. An amendment is currently been prepared to consider a correction on the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay to enable consideration of otherwise prohibited uses at the site.

Amendment C140 to the Surf Coast Planning Scheme is proposed to correct minor errors and mapping anomalies, along with a schedule amendment, in order to allow prohibited uses (such as commercial) for the former Orchard Bakery and associated dwelling at 44-46 Main St. If approved, this would permit the Shire to consider alternate uses such as a shop, and give a desirable purpose that helps to ensure ongoing preservation. If endorsed by the Shire, this would then require authorisation from the Minister of Planning and the preparation and exhibit of the Planning Scheme Amendment. In 2022 The Victorian State Government will hold an election to elect the 60th Parliament of Victoria. While undergoing political campaigns leading up to an election, approval of planning amendments and permits are delayed.

Hesse maintenance resources were also urgently reallocated due to severe storm damage in January, causing delays to non-urgent projects such as the re-establishment of the Op Shop. On the evening of Thursday 27th January a heavy storm struck Winchelsea, causing substantial damage to the main entrance of Hesse Rural Health. Due to the severity of the storm, the ceiling in the main entrance partially collapsed. At the same time localised flooding was experienced within the administration building, affecting all offices. The storm also damaged the main communications tower for the site, taking down all phone lines and data access, with the backup link also impacted. Repair works remain ongoing.

 

Current planned development of 44-46 Main Street

Due to ongoing delays, Hesse has re-stratergised the development plan of 44-46 Main St and currently intends to restore the building for general Hesse purposes. This will allow Hesse to begin to restore historical charm and breathe new life into a dilapidated building.

The current planning application for 44-46 Main St is the first step in this rebuild project, utilising the insurance proceeds from the loss of the previous building at 2 Gosney St only. No community raised funds, from the Op Shop Appeal are being utilised in this initial phase.

The proposed renovation does not enlarge the current available space at 44-46 Main Street, meaning an extension would be required if it was to become an Op Shop in the future.

 

What about a temporary Op Shop location until a new one is Built?

Following the fire, the Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers required time to grieve the loss before embarking on a new venture. The preference was to move into a new permanent location to avoid a later move, however with extended planning application time frames, the Auxiliary are now planning to open a smaller scale Op Shop until a new permanent location is available.

 

Interim Op Shop Announced – 10 Willis Street, Winchelsea

An interim Op Shop will be opening in coming months at 10 Willis St, Winchelsea. Commonly referred to as ‘The Sheds’, this prime location in the heart of Winchelsea offers main street access, off-street parking and will be a welcomed addition to neighbouring Antique stores and Café La Hoot.

We hope that the reopening of the Op Shop will breathe new life back into our community and be a frequent stop for clothing and homeware needs. The Sheds is a two year leased location for the Winchelsea Op Shop.

Not funded by Annual Appeal Funds.

 

Who runs The Op Shop? Who are the Hospital Auxiliary?

The Op Shop is managed by the Hospital Auxiliary, any profits are invested back into the health service, including the purchase of equipment, upgrade of infrastructure, or investment into providing better health outcomes for our residents and consumers in the community. They also provide social support to the residents of Hesse’s aged care facilities, and help to provide a great service to the town of Winchelsea.

 

Annual Appeal Funds – Where is it going?

Hesse Rural Health confirms that all funds raised for the Op Shop Rebuild Appeal will go towards the re-establishment of the Op Shop as promised. These funds are being held for a second phase extension of the building at 44-46 Main St, with the goal to give the Op Shop a purpose built home once a planning application is approved. No funds raised for the Op Shop Rebuild Appeal are being utilised to establish a temporary location or initial restorative works of 44-46 Main St.

Hesse is continually grateful for the ongoing support we receive from our community and our dedicated Hospital Auxiliary volunteers.

 

Hesse Rural Health Op Shop Appeal, how much has been fundraised to date?

Through generous community support, the fundraising appeal has currently raised $100k, plus under the current dollar-for-dollar commitment from Winchelsea Community Bank to match donations up to a further $50k, a further $6k has been raised.  Hesse Rural Health hopes during this matched funding period a second $100k is raised through $50k of community donations matched by Winchelsea Community Bank.

Fundraising efforts remain ongoing for the permanent site of the Winchelsea Op Shop, as per the Hesse Rural Health Annual Appeal. Please support our Op Shop and donate today.

 

For more information please email us at hesse@hesse.vic.gov.au