Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes Melbourne are very picturesque and historic traditional bathing boxes located on Brighton Bay.
In 1983 the Coastal Caucus Committee agreed that approximately 2,000 Port Phillip Bay boatsheds, bathing boxes and similar structures should be phased out over five years or less. A year later the Minister responsible confirmed the policy (Port Phillip Authority and the Heritage Unit, 1985). Concurrently, the Dendy Street and Middle Brighton Beaches were replaced in 1982-83. Not surprisingly the Brighton Bathing Box Association focussed on the challenge. The Association’s stated purpose was to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the boxes and to assist wherever possible in making the beach safe, well-cared for and popular place for all beachgoers. Fortunately constant use and a residency requirement in the former City of Brighton, with a population of approximately 35,000, meant that Brighton bathing box ‘owners’ could and historically did wield political clout when threatened by either Local or State Governments. Council and political connections aside, the Brighton Historical Society, the Association and individual member submissions to the City of Brighton and the Minister for Planning and Environment contributed to the Brighton Bathing Boxes being one of four representative groups of structures around Port Phillip Bay being recommended for retention by the Port Phillip Authority and the Heritage Unit in 1985.
Today, bureaucratic and political recognition of direct and indirect sources of income and an appreciation of sensitive community foreshore values means that both Local and State Governments favour retention of existing bathing boxes and boatsheds in preference to implementing a ‘return to nature at any cost’ view expressed by some conservationists. Locally Allom Lovell & Associates acknowledged heritage and culture when they recommended in 1999 the Brighton bathing boxes be placed on a Heritage Overlay within the Bayside Planning Scheme. Following elections in March 2000, Bayside City Council voted in July to heritage list 22 precincts with approximately 1,200 properties (including the bathing boxes), landscapes and trees.