The City of Ballarat could begin taking steps to protect an interwar bungalow in Sebastopol, which would otherwise be slated for demolition.
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The heritage home at 140 Albert Street was built between the two world wars, circa 1918 to 1939.
Council officers have deemed the property part of a historically significant precinct that represented Sebastopol’s growth from an individual township to evolving into a suburb of Ballarat.
The house is also considered of heritage value for aesthetic reasons, with brick porch detailing deemed unique to Sebastopol.
Council has received an application for the building to be demolished, but officers have moved to request a heritage overlay from the state government to protect it.
However, the officer recommendation, to be debated at Wednesday night’s council meeting, was in opposition to an independent planning panel, which suggested a heritage overlay was not necessary as the precinct was “not a strong example” compared with another nearby interwar bungalow cluster.
The panel agreed that neighbouring properties at 146 and 148 Albert Street were good examples of interwar bungalows, but said while the precinct was “of interest”, it did not warrant a heritage overlay.
South ward councillor Des Hudson said he was not convinced Albert Street was a notable heritage precinct.
“When you look at the changing face of Albert Street, it’s a major street coming into Ballarat...it’s not as if it’s a long strip of like-for-like, it’s a real mixed bag,” he said.
Cr Hudson said he had doubts that applying a heritage overlay would add significance or value to the precinct or help tell the story of how Ballarat developed during the interwar period.
“I’m not sure that these houses necessarily contribute to that story.”
The three-bedroom house is situated on a quarter acre block and was last sold in June this year for $270,000.
City of Ballarat mayor and chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee Samantha McIntosh said protecting Ballarat’s heritage brought “great economic benefits” to the city.
She said heritage overlays tended to bring a greater financial value to properties they were applied to.
“People love the connection to our past, so wherever we can support and retain histories and stories of our past, we know that’s of benefit,” she said.
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