Following the release of concept designs earlier this year for the Ballarat Railway Precinct redevelopment, developer Pellicano has now lodged plans for the adaptive re-use of the bluestone Goods Shed and development of a “hotel” on the site. In response to the concept designs, the National Trust submitted concerns about the quality and appropriateness of the hotel design, and potential impacts on the surrounding Lydiard Street North heritage area. We also submitted concerns regarding the proposed adaptive re-use of the Goods Shed as a convention centre with residential tenancies, which would result in the internal volume of the Goods Shed being lost. Click here to read our previous submission in full.
Public submissions in response to the plans are now open. Submissions close on Friday 28 July. Permit documentation will be available until this date on Heritage Victoria’s website.
It is important to note that the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria can only consider heritage impacts within the extent of the registered area, which is limited to the railway site. This prevents a consideration of impacts on the surrounding heritage precinct. This disconnect between the consideration of state and local heritage values remains one of the greatest deficiencies of the Heritage Act. The Executive Director is also unable to consider broader public transport and traffic issues, including any future plans for a bus interchange. Under Section 73 of the Act, the Executive Director must also consider “the extent to which the application, if refused, would affect the reasonable or economic use of the registered place or registered object.” Further information about Heritage Victoria’s permit decision policies can be found here.