Up to 140 state government public servants could soon be located in a five-storey building on the former Plaster Fun House site, should a planning application receive the green light.
The $5 million, 17-metre high development which is on advertising would provide 2246 square metres of additional office space to Ballarat Central.
The block at 11 Grenville Street North has sat vacant since February 2014 when a fire destroyed the two-storey Plaster Fun House building, which housed a yoga studio on the second floor.
iPlanning Services director James Iles said he expected construction on the site to begin “almost immediately” should a permit be granted.
So far the proposal has received one objection from a member of the public.
Ballarat City mayor Samantha McIntosh said while heritage needed to be considered, “we have a proposal in front of us which has capacity to host significant offices in our CBD”.
“These are always difficult decisions because we have to balance heritage requirements and the growth of the city which is very important to our future,” Cr McIntosh said.
While the property does sit within the city’s heritage overlay area, developers are arguing the building should be exempt due to the predominantly modern, contemporary buildings which surround the site.
Developers are also hoping to receive a parking exemption for the building, which will provide just 20 car spaces, 59 short of council’s stated requirement.
Significant upgrades are also expected to take place along Cattan Street at the rear of the site, which is largely unsealed.
READ MORE: Aftermath of Plaster Fun House fire
The development proposal comes just weeks after Planning Minister Richard Wynne gave the green light to plans for the $47.8 million GovHub project, which will be located at the rear of Civic Hall.
The site is expected to house 1000 public servants from multiple departments when fully functioning and is anticipated to be completed by 2020.
Preparation works will begin in September, with construction on the new building to commence by the end of 2018.
The Department of Justice and Regulation was contacted for comment but failed to respond.