PLANS for a cosmopolitan laneway restaurant precinct in the heart of Ballarat have been lodged with the council.
A disused warehouse and stables would be converted into three 50-seat laneway restaurants between Armstrong and Lydiard streets, under a planning application submitted to the City of Ballarat on behalf of George Hotel proprietor Gary Browning.
The proposed refurbishment would take an unused site and transform it into a lively stretch of eateries and entertainment opportunities, the developer is claiming.
It comes after the opening of the George Hotel’s Lane dining area last year, on the site of the former newsagency at 35 Lydiard Street.
A new laneway is currently under construction as part of The George Hotel redevelopment, which will link Armstrong Street with Lydiard Street to the east.
Mr Browning and the City of Ballarat began discussions more than two years ago about a proposed laneway cafe precinct, inspired by Melbourne’s narrow laneways.
The proposed three new restaurants would be built toward the Armstrong Street end of the Lane, and would be “unique and stylish in their own right”, according to information from The George’s website.
Mr Browning declined to comment on the initiative yesterday.
But the planning application describes a space where pocket plazas would provide “nodes for outdoor meeting areas and bands/buskers who can perform during the summer months”.
The development of the unused section of laneway, and the new extension which cuts through to Lydiard Street, could also create a link all the way through to Police Lane, and be integrated in the Ballarat Heritage Walking Trail.
The site is well located close to a range of public transport and the proposal does not dramatically alter the appearance of the building from the street, the planning application says.
No car parking on site is proposed and Mr Browning is seeking a waiver of statutory parking requirements.
He is also seeking to apply for a liquor licence for the warehouse building, stables and associated laneway.
The proposal is currently open for public viewing and submissions.