Locals back plans for neglected boulevard

PLANS to develop the High Street boulevard have been praised by residents and workers in the area. 

Many large shops are vacant on the strip, which marks the entrance to the city. 

The City of Greater Bendigo wants to rezone the boulevard to commercial 1, to attract contemporary, mid-rise and mixed-use buildings. 

It would also create an opportunity to build inner-city-style apartments and townhouse dwellings. 

One employee said council had largely forgotten the area and welcomed further development on the boulevard. 

"It would be good to see development because a lot of businesses around here have fallen through and there are many empty shops," Julie Billson said. 

"Along this whole strip, there are not many attractive buildings so it would be good to see developers come and take an interest."

It would be good to see developers take an interest.

Julie Billson

Resident Ruth Watson, 76, has recently sold her High Street house to a developer and says things were looking up in the city. 

"It's excellent council wants to encourage development here and I don't think you're going to stop people going up," she said. 

Ms Watson's property was sold to a Melbourne architect for $330,000 but it remains unclear what will eventuate of her home. 

"The developer has been advised not to tell anyone what he is planning but if these plans to rezone go ahead then he will have more opportunities with what he does," she said. 

The sale has come with mixed emotions for the Bendigo woman. 

"This is a third-generation house and the title goes back to the 1800s. It's sad to see it go but that's the way that Bendigo is headed."

"More and more people are moving here and you need to cater for that demand."

The council consulted directly with the 59 landowners of the 86 properties affected by the proposed re-zoning and received many letters of support.


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