A new roof will be considered for Freight Bar and Restaurant in coming weeks after the Ballarat City Council voted to scrap the existing structure this week.
On Wednesday night the council ordered owners of the Mair Street building to tear down the roof of its new alfresco deck, which was built without proper planning approvals.
The council considered a retrospective planning application, which included the construction of the first floor deck to the rear of the hotel, the gable ended roof enclosure over it, along with the licensing of the deck area.
The council’s statutory planning director Hamish Lampp said the deck itself was considered acceptable and did not obscure any original features of the building and the licensing was also acceptable.
But a heritage advisor’s report called for the roof over the alfresco deck to be removed as it was out of character with the rest of the hotel building and the broader area. One of the building’s freeholders, Gary Anderson, said he was expecting the decision.
“I was half prepared for it because we’ve been in consultation with the council for a while,” he said. “The plans didn’t really show a definite roof but it did indicate some exposed beams.
“We will work with council and get a resolution on it over the next couple of weeks.”
Mr Anderson, a former Ballarat City councillor, said the council’s finding that the roof was out of character with the rest of the building was reasonable.
“In hindsight, I agree with them,” he said.
“We did go over the top putting tin on (the roof) ... now we’ll take the iron and the battens off and work with council to get a resolution.”
Mr Anderson said one way or another, there would be a roof of some description on top of the building’s new deck area.
“The idea of not having any sort of roof in Ballarat is not logically sound,” he said.
“We’re going to work with the council’s heritage officer but already we’ve got a lot of options – we’re already toying with the idea of having some sort of canvas tent or marquee over the area.”
He said the council’s decision wasn’t so much a financial impost but more of an inconvenience for the building owners and its tenant, Freight Bar and Restaurant.