Bendigo Council approves development on Williamson Street

A THREE-storey building will be constructed in Williamson Street after the development received planning approval at last night’s Bendigo Council meeting. 

The site has been vacant for several years with a previous plan knocked back in 2008. 

But the Backhaus Estate will now go ahead with the development on the former petrol station site, which will feature two retailers, a cafe, and four office spaces. 

An underground car park will also house up to 40 cars, 25 bicycles and six motorcycles. 

Councillor James Williams said it was “great to see these developments”. 

“It’s a great development and I look forward to it coming to fruition,” he said. 

All other councillors supported the development but Councillor Peter Cox said it didn’t fit with the council’s residential development strategy and said it would further “drain” retail from the CBD. 

The motion passed with 20 conditions. In other meeting news, a 23 lot development at Kangaroo Flat that received 36 objections narrowly received planning approval. 

Councillor Barry Lyons noted the plan would cause a loss of vegetation but said there had been “reasonably good, but not perfect compromise” with the development. 

Councillor Campbell spoke in favour of the right to develop the site but Councillor Rod Fyffe said it “really is sloppy, lazy planning”. 

“I fully support the people who are objecting to it,” Cr Fyffe said. 

The motion carried by one vote. 

Heathcote boxing gym Rural Fight Club also received planning approval. 

According to a report before councillors, the gym had operated without any council approval and two people had objected to the proposal. The objectors noted the “nature of the activities associated with a ‘fight club’”, the appropriateness of the location for such a use, the lack of toilet and shower facilities and the hours of operation. It’s believed the boxing ring at the venue has a concrete floor, but the council report noted consent through environmental health regulations were only needed if food and drinks were sold, and if beauty therapy, skin penetration or other prescribed activities occurred. 

Coucillor Campbell said the objectors’ concerns had been dealth with and Councillor Elise Chapman said any exercise was good exercise.  “People can let their frustrations out and lose some weight,” she said.

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