Lane’s future set in stone

Nick Toscano

Dozens of  bluestone lanes in Melbourne’s north have been saved from cement  mixers after Moreland Council shelved controversial plans to pave them over.

Before a packed gallery of more than 100 residents on Wednesday night,  councillors unanimously declared Moreland a ”bluestone city” and voted down  plans that would have concreted over 47 kilometres of non-heritage-protected  laneways.

It was instead agreed to preserve and promote Moreland’s entire bluestone  laneway network spanning almost 70 kilometres and  believed to be the largest of  any Australian municipality, despite warnings council rates could rise as a  result.

Mayor Oscar Yildiz said reconstructing laneways in bluestone, which costs  $155 a square metre compared with $85 for concrete, would come at a greater  expense to ratepayers.