Bendigo council approves demolition despite heritage advice

CITY of Greater Bendigo councillors have again gone against the recommendations of council staff, giving two homes built around 1900 and 1930 demolition approval. 

Staff, working on advice from the council’s heritage officer, recommended a permit to demolish the homes at 342 and 344 Napier Street and replace them with six small lots be refused.

A report noted the streetscape of Napier Street was worthy of heritage conservation and the house at 342 of “contributory significance to the area”. But councillor Elise Chapman said the homes weren’t worth keeping. 

“They’re effectively two old homes in very poor condition,” she said. 

“I respectfully but strongly disagree with the heritage adviser’s descriptions of the house.”

Councillor Helen Leach said she appreciated heritage values but “there are times we need to look at the bigger picture”. 

Councillor Peter Cox, speaking against the development, said previous councils had not given the city’s heritage enough thought. “Some people see it is vitally important we retain some of our old homes... it’s a value judgement,” he said.

Councillor Rod Fyffe said the homes needed to be kept and the city needed to “respect the heritage of the area”.

But Councillor Barry Lyons said the right decision was to “knock them over and put up six new units”. 

Crs Cox and Fyffe voted against approving the demolition and subdivision, with other councillors voting in favour.

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