THE old Gilles Pies and Crystal Ice factories are a step closer to being transformed into retail and housing developments.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors last night passed planning changes removing development restrictions on the Garsed Street site, which has sat idle since closing seven years ago.
While there had been heritage restrictions on the precinct, Councillor Barry Lyons said the dilapidated and graffiti covered site was at risk of being lost.
“This amendment is necessary because we need some control. If we leave it too long, there will be nothing left to save,” he said.
Real estate company First National is looking to sell the Gillies factory for $1.35 million, and the planning changes have increased the amount of retail space the Crystal Ice factory can be used for.
Landowners and stakeholders had reached an agreement over the heritage and character values of the site before the meeting.
Councillor Bruce Phillips said the large site was valuable and the changes allowed developers to “proceed with a good degree of confidence”.