UPDATE 10.35am: Macedon Ranges Shire councillors have asked the council’s chief executive officer to brief them by August on “all aspects” of the plan proposed by the state government for the old Kyneton school site, including timelines, proposed consultation and resourcing.
In the agenda for Wednesday night’s council meeting, officers recommended that the council adopt the master plan and endorse the third option of a mixed use development, under which the site would be subdivided and sold by the state government.
The report to councillors said “evidence for current council usage does not support council purchasing the whole site and taking responsibility for buildings and facilities and their associated risks, initial and ongoing costs”.
The report said Kyneton already had a “significant number” of community assets and open spaces that were not used to their full capacity.
But ahead of the meeting the state government made the announcement that the site would remain publicly owned.
EARLIER: The historical former Kyneton Primary School site will remain in public hands, the state government has announced.
A draft master plan released earlier this year outlined three options for the future of the site: publicly owned and community managed; publicly owned and commercially managed; and mixed use development.
Under the two first concepts, council would purchase the site.
The announcement follows community consultation on the possible options, undertaken by Macedon Ranges Shire Council and commissioned by the government.
“The Kyneton community has expressed a strong desire for the old Kyneton Primary School site to remain in public hands,” Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said.
The government says the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership will work with community groups and representatives from local government and other agencies to determine the best use of the site.
Most respondents to an online poll of Bendigo Advertiser readers voiced a preference for the site remaining publicly owned.
The original bluestone school building dates back to 1856.