The Heritage Committee of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria will write to Planning Minister Richard Wynne asking him to protect the Jack Dyer grandstand following the decision by Melbourne City Council to approve its demolition as part of a $65 million redevelopment of the Punt Rd Oval by Richmond Football Club.
Committee chair Prof Charles Sowerwine said members were "still very angry about the secrecy" around the decision, with the council only two weeks earlier promoting an alternative option that would have instead seen the demolition of the club's Swinburne Centre to make room for an expanded oval and improved facilities.
The National Trust has also expressed concerns about the lack of publicly available documents supporting the club's position that the retention or relocation of the stand was not viable.
It is also calling for a redevelopment option which enables the retention or relocation of stand.
The grandstand was built with £4000 raised through a public debenture scheme in 1913-14. It is considered architecturally significant as a relatively rare example of the larger, more elaborate football stands of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
A Melbourne City Council heritage advisor, who wrote one of at least three assessments for the council recommending against the demolition, gave an adverse view of the proposal.
"It is evident that the Jack Dyer Stand ... has heritage importance, is very prominent, and embodies the long history of the Richmond Football Club as well as the game," it said.
According to Charles Sowerwine, the grandstand is in reasonable condition and could be restored.
The Planning Minister, who is required to sign off on a planning scheme amendment for the project, will have the final say.
A Victorian government spokesperson said the matter was under consideration. "The application will be decided on its merit, with consideration given to the significance of the site," the spokesperson said.