A year hit by a pandemic and lockdowns in Ballarat has not halted interest in CBD development with a six-storey hotel the latest proposal aimed at enlivening old stretches of vacant land.
Ballarat Investments Group Pty Ltd has lodged an application for a planning permit for the project at 107 Doveton Street South, Ballarat Central.
The land is a fenced off former car park across from Dana Street Primary School and next to Smith and Jennings Accountants.
It is proposed the hotel would have 93 hotel rooms, the capacity for 186 hotel guests and a ground floor cafe with a liquor licence.
The planning report suggests the hotel could employ up to 29 staff.
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The application comes at a time of significant change for Ballarat's CBD, with the construction of GovHub next to Civic Hall and Quest Hotel at the Ballarat Railway Station precinct both rapidly moving toward final stages.
The investment also comes at a time of more far-reaching plans to rethink Ballarat's CBD, including the council's Bakery Hill redevelopment strategy which seeks to revitalise key parts of the city like Bridge Mall by bringing more people into the area.
Part of the long-term plan from council has put forward the case that inner-city residential, broader hospitality offerings and more attractive and inviting green spaces were key to bringing more people into the CBD and ensuring its long-term economic sustainability.
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The land at the proposed site of the new hotel is within a commercial zone and is not covered by any overlays in the planning scheme, however a number of heritage overlays surround the area.
The site also adjoins the large Telstra facility and car park and several other telecommunications businesses on Doveton Street.
Planning report author Timothy Stevens from Beveridge Williams said in the document the design was informed by the heritage landscape of the surrounding precinct.
The report referenced council correspondence in May 2020 that said the proposed building design was 'bulky' and had little reference to the surrounding heritage areas to the north, east and west.
"It will improve the aesthetic amenity and commercial vibrancy of the area, which is currently used as a vacant carpark. It will also hide the ugly Telstra tower from most view lines," the author said.
The report referenced GovHub and Quest Hotel as buildings that have 'bulky' design and use 'modern materials' in arguably 'better heritage landscapes' in Ballarat.
An 21-space on-site car park is included in the hotel plans and the developer suggests hotel patrons would use nearby on-street parking and Central Square Car Park could potentially provide car space leasing opportunities.
A car parking demand assessment shows there is sufficient parking available nearby for the estimated spaces needed during the day when the hotel is at 80 per cent occupancy.
The planning application is currently on advertising on the City of Ballarat website.
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