Entertainment Movies ‘Tell ’em they’re dreamin’: The Castle house under threat

‘Tell ’em they’re dreamin’: The Castle house under threat

The Castle house threatened with demolition
The threat to the house is a case of life imitating art. Photo: AAP
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Darryl Kerrigan would be horrified — the owner of the house featured in cult Australian film The Castle wants it demolished to make way for a new development.

A bid to protect the home – it’s not just a house – by getting Moonee Valley city councillors to give it heritage protection last night failed, with the vote lost by five votes to four.

The weatherboard house, with a “Victoriana feel”, was the centrepiece of the movie’s storyline with its main character Darryl Kerrigan going to the High Court to stop the government from compulsorily acquiring his home – which was located right next to the airport.

The owner of the post-war weatherboard house, which in reality is 3 Dagonet Street in the Melbourne suburb of Strathmore, wanted to demolish it and build two townhouses, so the council stepped in, ordering a report on its social and historical significance.

Mayor Andrea Suraco said she understood the sentimental side to the building – but said it was linked to the movie, not necessarily the house.

“An important debate went on, but we have to remember this is a private person’s property,” Ms Suraco told AAP late on Tuesday night.

“The house was supposed to be in Coolaroo – no one would have known it was in Strathmore.”

She said the decision didn’t mean the house would be demolished, because there was community interest to move the house from the property and restore it.

Members of the council who want to stop the demolition requested a report into the house’s significance, which stated the house’s “connections with the film The Castle are the foremost aspect of its significance, reflecting both social and historical value”.

Owner Vicky Cosentino wanted to demolish the house to make way for two townhouses and had threatened legal action if the council slapped a heritage listing on it.

Mr Kerrigan took his fight against the home’s compulsory acquisition all the way to the High Court, in the 1997 film.

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