A CONTROVERSIAL five-storey Lyons Street North apartment block and medical centre will go ahead.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal this week approved the complex, despite complaints from residents it was too high for the CBD fringe.
The proposal, on the former Loreto College junior campus site, will include 34 apartments while a former music building will be turned into four other units.
The Ballarat Group Practice will set up a medical centre on the ground floor, which will be used by up to 15 doctors.
A 95-space car park will be located at ground level and partly underground, along with 28 bicycle spaces.
In his ruling, VCAT member Geoff Rundell said the application should go ahead to provide extra housing for a range of smaller households.
“It is a well-serviced location that is highly proximate to Ballarat’s CBD, public transport, community facilities and employment opportunities,” Mr Rundell said.
He said the medical centre would help ease a doctor shortage and improve health services.
“The proposed development could make a medical career in Ballarat more attractive, securing new staff at a time when a number of current doctors are looking to leave the profession.”
Mr Rundell said Lyons Street North already had a mix of non-residential uses and the buildings would be set back far enough from the road.
But resident Judith Coull said she was very disappointed by the VCAT decision.
“We are disappointed that we will have a building of that height built at the edge of the CBD,” Ms Coull said.
“That the tallest residential building in Ballarat will be built in a heritage overlay is beyond belief.
“It does not appear to be in compliance with a residential zone.”
Mrs Coull said she was also disappointed the building would obstruct views of the nearby St Andrew’s church spire and the Ballarat Christian Church in Dawson Street.