Demolition for derelict council cottages

TWO buildings that have been vacant for more than a decade are to be demolished, following a vote at Wednesday night's Ballarat City Council meeting.

City infrastructure general manager Eric Braslis said the caretaker's cottages at the saleyards and the showgrounds were in a state of disrepair and the two buildings would be demolished if there was no expression of interest for relocation. 

He said there had been ongoing maintenance problems with the properties, mainly concerning vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Braslis said there was a possibility the building at the saleyards could be used for CFA training, but there needed to be discussions about the proposal. 

Cr Samantha McIntosh, the only councillor to vote against the motion, said she had many questions .

"What processes were carried out to prevent demolition? How were they neglected for more than a decade? How did they get to this stage? What opportunities would there have been for these buildings if they had been taken care of?" 

She said it was a long time to just leave buildings sitting there before they were discussed. 

"Can we ensure other buildings are dealt with earlier, before they're at this stage and we're only starting to talk about their condition a decade down the track?"

Mr Braslis said the council conducted audits on its 700 buildings.

"We have to make decisions on what buildings have become redundant," he said. 

"They were both built for a purpose and that purpose has changed.

"We can't continue to make new and better buildings and keep so many old ones that aren't up to a standard the community would like."

The report before council said the properties cost the council $30,000 during the past two years for maintenance and repairs. 

nicole.cairns@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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