A THREE-storey commercial development in Bendigo has been refused on heritage grounds.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors voted against the partial demolition, subdivision and development of an Edward Street property, in order to protect historic stables located on the block.
The red brick stables, located at the back of Bendigo Cycles, are believed to be the first in the city.
Councillor Peter Cox urged developers to take advantage of heritage.
"This would be a positive development if the stables were incorporated into the design," he said.
"This is where you can take something old and turn it into something new.
"If we allow this development to go ahead, no-one will ever know the story of this site.
"The history will be lost for good."
Cr Rod Campbell backed Cr Cox's comments, saying heritage was Bendigo’s point of difference.
Councillors choose to protect heritage
"It looks like a very impressive three-storey development and the site is in a commercial one zone," he said.
"But the history of the site needs to be preserved for what it is... (The stables) are the threads of our city."
However Cr Elise Chapman said she failed to see the significance of the stables and urged councillors to proceed with development.
"I'm all for protecting things that are worth protecting but it's just a stable," she said.
"Jesus wasn't born there."
It's just a stable. Jesus wasn't born there.
Councillors also refused a two-lot subdivision and construction of a two-storey dwelling at Neale Street, Flora Hill.
Four objections were noted, with many believing the two-storey building would set a precedent detracting from neighbourhood character.
Other concerns included the building overshadowing and overlooking nearby properties, traffic concerns and property devaluation.
Cr Campbell moved an alternate motion to refuse the proposal, saying it would create an "unacceptable amenity outcome".
"This development will be harmful to the residential character because of the height and bulk," he said.
"There are many aspects to this that raise eyebrows."
Cr Helen Leach said while the development was "very nice", it wouldn't fit in the area.
She also noted parking and traffic concerns.
Councillors unanimously voted against the proposal, despite council officers recommending the development be approved.