AN independent heritage assessment has found that former Melbourne gay bar Greyhound Hotel should be saved from demolition.

The 52-page report was created by heritage consultants Context and stated that the hotel has strong historic and social significance to the area.

The former gay bar was slated to be turned into an apartment building, prompting members of the LGBTI community to rally against the decision and create a 2,600-strong Change.org petition.

Earlier this year in a post on its official Facebook page, the Greyhound Hotel management team announced its immediate closure.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share this news with you,” it read.

“As of today the GH Hotel will no longer be open for business. This is due to recent unforeseen circumstances.”

In light of the recent heritage assessment which found that the Greyhound was “one of a few remaining buildings” which charted the “changing fortunes of St Kilda”, Port Phillip Council will now likely block demolition of the building.

“The Greyhound Hotel has been associated with St Kilda’s evolving LGBTI community for more than two decades,” the report read.

The council was slammed last year when it was revealed the Greyhound had no heritage controls, prompting the council to call on Planning Minister Richard Wynne to place interim controls on the building while it fast-tracked the heritage assessment, which Wynne rejected.

Yet while a building permit currently exists for demolition, this doesn’t prevent a heritage overlay being applied to the site.

And Heritage Policy in the Port Phillip Planning Scheme specifies that the demolition of a ‘significant heritage place’ – grading proposed for the Greyhound Hotel – should not be supported.

Councillors are slated to vote on whether to push ahead with heritage controls at a council meeting tonight.

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