Heritage Victoria will have the authority to approve future changes to the Ballarat Railway Station goods shed.
The historic building will be sold to a private developer under an upcoming $25 million Labor government plan which will see a successful developer convert the blue stone building into a convention centre and also build a four-star hotel.
A statement from Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford’s office confirmed the overall precinct is included in the Victorian Heritage Register and in the Heritage Overlay of the Ballarat Planning Scheme.
“As such, the Station Precinct (including the goods shed) is subject to the Victorian Heritage Act 1995 and any proposed or anticipated future works will require the approval of Heritage Victoria,” it read.
“Significant works are required to remediate and conserve the heritage fabric of the goods shed. These works will aim to activate the heritage building, ensuring its future use and viability.”
A statement from Heritage Victoria said future use of the site would be subject to a heritage permit, while a subdivision permit will also be required if the building is sold.
However, the Planning Minister could have power over certain decisions pertaining to the site, according to the Heritage Act 1995.
Ballarat Historical Society vice president Michael Cuttle said the development may be beneficial for the site’s preservation.
"We have one of the finest railway precincts in the country of which the goods sheds are a vital part,” he said.
“Development of the site is probably unavoidable to prevent further deterioration of the buildings. The Provincial Hotel is a good example of what is possible. We can only await the developer's plans."
National Trust Ballarat branch spokesperson Gerald Jenzen also praised the planned restoration, but was concerned over the potential to remove parts of the building with heritage significance.
“The branch also has concerns about the building’s future use once it is in private ownership despite the recent amendment approved by the (Planning) Minister,” he said.
Works will begin in 2017.
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