Ballarat City Council staff support the demolition of some former Ballarat orphanage buildings but want another six protected.
Former Ballarat Children’s Home residents are expected to make submissions in the chamber when a planning application to demolish former orphanage buildings is considered by the council tomorrow.
The Victoria Street premises was sold to a developer in 2011 for a residential subdivision with a medical centre and shopping complex.
Some elements would be kept under the developer’s plan, including the former toddlers’ block, some mature elm trees, the Stawell Street wall, the front memorial garden, a shade structure, several magnolia trees and the memorial Ludbrook seat.
But a report by council officers suggests another six structures earmarked for demolition should be protected, including the former school house, Floyd Sloyd room store and superintendent’s residence.
“There may be some merit in considering some buildings for heritage protection,” officers said. “The level of community concern expressed in response to the application serves only to increase this level of doubt.”
Last week, former orphanage resident Deborah Findlay said former residents would deliver submissions in favour of protecting the remaining buildings at tomorrow’s meeting and she hoped the wider community would take an interest too.
“I’m pretty sure every citizen in Ballarat would know someone who grew up in the Ballarat orphanage,” she said.
The council has also received a separate application to rezone the site from special use (private education) to a mixture of business, mixed use zone and residential, as well as to apply an individual heritage overlay over parts of it.
Council officers said this would test whether the additional six buildings should be formally protected.
“It is considered premature to permit demolition of all buildings until such time as this heritage amendment process is complete,” officers said.
The demolition application received 38 objections from the public.