THERE’S been a steady rise in local heritage building restorations and developments.
Figures from the City of Greater Bendigo show 69 buildings with heritage overlays were restored or redeveloped in 2008.
That grew to 87 in 2011, and 93 in 2012.
Council director of planning and development Prue Mansfield said the permits ranged from minor work to substantial restorations.
“Most of the work is on the outside,” she said.
“Very few properties have internal controls.
“Most of the work is at the substantial end, rather than the minor end.”
Ms Mansfield said of the 1200 permits that came through the council each year, a little under 10 percent were in heritage areas.
Bendigo Historical Society president Jim Evans welcomed the figures.
“There is growing interest in heritage and history,” he said. “There can be quite exciting outcomes.
“If they can used for a purpose while preserving the heritage values of the site, that’s a good thing.”
Mr Evans said the upcoming Gaol Theatre Project was an example of a heritage site being revamped and adapted for new use.
The council and National Trust of Australia are currently seeking entrants for the 2013 Greater Bendigo Heritage Awards.
The event aims to recognise those who have demonstrated excellence in conserving the area’s heritage buildings, with awards covering seven categories.
Councillor Peter Cox said it was a chance for builders and owners to have their work in the spotlight.
“Bendigo has a rich architectural history, so it is wonderful to see residents embrace our heritage properties and return them to their former glory or give them a n