Civic Hall demolition application to be lodged next month

A PLANNING application to demolish the Civic Hall won’t be released until next year.

On October 9 the Ballarat City Council upheld a decision to demolish the hall, and expected a formal planning application to take four to six weeks.

Mayor Joshua Morris said yesterday the application would not be lodged until mid January.

But there would still be an extended advertising period for people to make submissions after the school holidays, Cr Morris said.

“I think it’ll be a good outcome,” he said.

“It’s difficult for people to consider planning applications over Christmas when people are away.

“There’s a planning application that’s being prepared and councillors themselves are not involved in that process.”

The council voted on September 25 in favour of demolishing the Civic Hall, following a six-and-a-half-hour meeting.

But councillor Belinda Coates later introduced a motion to rescind the decision.

The council voted 6-3 against the initiative after more than seven hours of public submissions that ended just before 2am.

At the time, the council chief executive officer Anthony Schinck said he expected the planning application to be lodged in four to six weeks.

The formal application could then go on public exhibition for six weeks.

If the council votes to approve it, anyone can lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal within 21 days.

Cr Morris recently declared the Civic Hall one of the council’s top priorities for next year.

But the council expects it will be at least 12 months before the hall sees a wrecking ball, even if a planning application to demolish it goes through.

If the matter went to VCAT it would still be nine to 12 months before anything could happen.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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