A proposed Grenville Street North development which has raised continual parking and heritage concerns from the public will again be considered by council.
City of Ballarat officers have recommended a planning permit be granted for the future five-story, $5 million Department of Justice building, if the development height is again reduced by at least 0.5 metres.
Councillors will consider the proposal at an ordinary meeting on August 22, after deferring a deision on July 4, so mediation with the developer iPlanning Services Pty Ltd could be undertaken.
Objectors say the height for the building would impede views of the broader goldfields from Camp Street, going against the recommendations of UNESCOs Historic Urban Landscape approach, to which Ballarat is a signatory.
SEE HOW PLANS FOR 11 GRENVILLE STREET NORTH CHANGED
There have also been concerns about the significant lack of parking. The first floor of the building will include 20 car parks and storage room for 12 bicycles accessible from Cattan Street, with the developer applying for a dispensation of 58 spaces.
The Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council secretary Brett Edgington said he “didn’t understand” why council spent so much money on heritage consultants, just to ignore them when it was inconvenient for development.
“They haven’t reduced the height at all, they’ve stepped back the frontage from the footpath,” he said. "It still has the same issues and will impede the heritage view from our escarpment.”
“We have rules to create certainty and guidance, if you want to change rules for parking requirements and height restrictions, then you need a good argument … but council just breaks them or ignores them when it suits.”
The block at 11 Grenville Street North has sat vacant since February 2014 when a fire destroyed the building housing Plaster Funhouse and a yoga studio.
City of Ballarat’s director of infrastructure and environment Terry Demeo said nothing had changed in regards to parking since the new plans were lodged, with main changes made to fit the facade into the precinct.
“In terms of facade, they’ve done a lot of work,” he said. “I don’t envisage it satisfying all the objectors, but it is a significant compromise from the proponents.”
The Courier attempted to contact iPlanning Services Pty Ltd on Tuesday, but did not receive a response.
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