Major developments on table at council meeting

Simone and Randall Blakemore with daughter Grace out the front of their new venture - the old Mount Edgecombe Hotel. Picture: NONI HYETT
Simone and Randall Blakemore with daughter Grace out the front of their new venture - the old Mount Edgecombe Hotel. Picture: NONI HYETT

Mount Edgecombe Hotel redevelopment on the cards

City planners will recommend councillors endorse Simone and Randall Blakemore’s plan to turn the historic pub into a café restaurant, including through “partial demolition, construction of extension, construction of first floor dwelling, external alterations and an increase in area of liquor licence and increase in maximum capacity”.

The proposal involves:

  • Using the existing building for a food and drink premises;
  • Demolition of the rear part of building which is a weatherboard extension to the original building and demolition of a shed;
  • Construction of a new extension at ground level, a cellar and a first floor dwelling;
  • External alterations;
  • Replacement of fences;
  • An increase in the area covered by the liquor licence and an increase in the maximum capacity of patrons; and
  • An alteration to the existing access and a reduction in car parking.

The proposed food and drink premises will comprise a restaurant and bar facilities, function rooms, café/delicatessen and bakery.

The external alterations include filling in an existing door and three windows on the south east elevation with brick to match the building and removal of the existing painted and rendered finishes to expose the original red brick.

The proposed hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday 7am to 4pm and Wednesday to Sunday 7am to 11pm. 

Focus on gender policy

The city’s health and wellbeing directorate will seek councillors’ endorsement of a gender equality strategy for the city, with Eppalock’s Yvonne Wrigglesworth appointed to an internal working group on the issue.

The report to council states workplaces are “an important setting to challenge and change gender stereotypes” with women continuing to earn less than their male counterparts, while men find it increasing difficult to access flexible working arrangements.

The report notes, as of December 2016, the city employed 16 per cent more women than men, but that men outranked women at “band 8 level”, a situation that had worsened since a recent restructure.

The executive management team has two out of five women and council has five women.

“A scan of the organisation also indicates that the spread of male and female jobs mirrors general stereotypes in the community with the work and waste areas dominated by males and the home care and childcare areas dominated by females,” health and wellbeing director Vicky Mason writes.

“Research shows that organisations with the high levels of gender equity outperform those with low levels.

“Research has also found that a focus on gender equity in workplaces is vital, as workplaces are a setting that influences our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in both personal and professional life.”

Strathfieldsaye development gets tick from city officers

City staff will also recommend councillors grant approval for a 173 lot subdivision in Strathfieldsaye.

The Sullivans Road development is proposed to be undertaken in eight stages, with the proposed lots ranging from 427 to 1338 square metres in size and an average lot size across the estate of 725 square metres.

The proposal attracted four objections, raising concerns about traffic and anecdotal evidence the site is subject to flooding but city officers recommended it go ahead based on the conclusion that it “represents an acceptable outcome with regards to the requirements of the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme”.

“In balancing competing objectives, it is concluded that the subdivision has a high level of compliance with planning policy for housing,” the report states.

“The site is zoned appropriately and is within the city’s urban growth boundary, with the result being there is no compelling reason as to why the site should not be developed as proposed.”

Council responds to hurry-up request on High Street bridge

Councillors will consider a petition from Golden Square residents calling for “urgent attention to the completion of works” around the bridge over Golden Gully Creek in High Street.

The existing pedestrian bridge over the creek and part of the footpath has been fenced off for months, due to deterioration of the bridge and erosion and subsidence in the creek, and the 13 petitioners want to see the bridge become “an area to be proud of”.

"For the safety and convenience of cyclists and local residents we, the undersigned, request urgent attention to the continuation of works commenced around the bridge over High Street in Golden Square which has been closed off for several months,” the petition states.

“We request: Restoration of the walkway, repair of the footpath and beautification of the tributary to Bendigo Creek so that it becomes an area to be proud of when entering the city.” 

The city’s infrastructure development co-ordinator Mark Atkinson, who prepared a report on the petition for the council, says the city has considered various options, consulted various parties and progressed to a detailed design of a new footpath and upgrade of the existing drainage channel.

He recommends councillors “note inclusion of works along Golden Gully Creek to address bank erosion and the reconstruction of the footpath” in the recently adopted the 2017-18 budget, and that further community consultation will be undertaken on the project design in coming months.