A property on the heritage overlay and a contributor to the heritage precinct is set for subdivision

Ballarat City Council will push ahead with a subdivision of a property on the heritage overlay list despite receiving a submission against it. 

Golden age: Subdivision is on the cards for a property in an area which has previously been claimed as the first for gold discovery in Ballarat.

Golden age: Subdivision is on the cards for a property in an area which has previously been claimed as the first for gold discovery in Ballarat.

While stating that “...the site at 333 Barkly Street is included within a heritage overlay” and “...also contributory to the heritage precinct,” development and planning director Angelique Lush said work will continue toward a subdivision of the site.

“The existing dwelling is being retained with minor demolition permitted at the rear of the building, which was not part of the original structure.

The permit issued allows the site to be subdivided into two lots, with a single story dwelling  to be built on the newly created vacant lot,” she said.  

The amended building design was assessed by council’s heritage advisor as respectful to the heritage overlay prior to issuing of the permit she said and documentation regarding the historic nature of properties should be directed to the council’s Heritage and Cultural Landscape Team.

The controversy over the site is due to its position within the area considered to be where Ballarat’s first gold discovery was made, although never unequivocally confirmed.

“There were several parties of miners active in the Golden Point area at the time and all claimed credit for the first discovery,” Ballarat Historical Society’s Mike Cuttle said adding a Committee in 1853 found it difficult to decide who deserved the credit. 

He said a stone obelisk was erected on the corner of Barkly and Young Streets after the Ballarat Town Council asked for public information to settle the issue in 1889. 

“It is clear from the newspapers of the time that this was far from a unanimous choice. The obelisk was removed in 1951 and later re-erected in the Llanberris Reserve. In 2001 it was again re-located, this time to its current location on the corner of Barkly and Eureka Streets,” he said.

“The local historians that I have spoken to either support the Poverty Point location or that the exact location is unclear. If there was no agreement on the site in 1889, when many of the old miners would have still been alive, I think it is difficult to be too adamant today,” he said.