Masons’ fence given marching orders

A PICKET fence at Masons of Bendigo restaurant in Queen Street is encroaching on public space, according to City of Greater Bendigo planning and development director Prue Mansfield. 

The business will remove the fence on Monday, and Ms Mansfield said it was disappointing an agreement couldn’t be reached with the owners. 

“I really encourage businesses to come and ask us and we’ll help them work through it,” she said. “It’s always disappointing when we get to this point. That’s why we work hard to be proactive with businesses wherever possible.”

Ms Mansfield said the fence was about 30 per cent too high, made from the wrong material and was too enclosed. 

 “In general, cafe fences are made from glass or fabric barriers within a metal frame. “It would have been difficult to meet the requirements with the materials they selected,” she said. 

Ms Manfield said council staff had met the owners to try to solve the problem on several occasions. “It is really disappointing when businesses proceed without permits and problems must then be fixed retrospectively,” she said. 

But Masons co-owner Sonia Anthony said the council’s building regulations were ambiguous and said the diversity of the CBD would be lost by removing the fence. “We thank our local traders for their continuing support and to the Bendigo community for their significant support and positive encouragement,” she said. 

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