COUNCIL has given the all-clear for the conversion of the former All Saints school and masters’ residence on Mackenzie Street into a function centre and tavern, believing it will add to the View Street food and arts precinct.
The $1 million proposal was put to council at Wednesday night’s meeting and was approved unanimously, despite concerns about the growing number of cars expected to park in the area in the future.
Cr Julie Hoskin said the All Saints proposal was a “very exciting development”, but she had ongoing concerns with future parking issues.
“The compounding impact of this is unsustainable and unfair to residents in the area who are already struggling with the situation,” she said.
The City of Greater Bendigo is currently reviewing parking in the View Street area.
Given the heritage status of the All Saints building, it was impossible to add more car parks to the area and the condition for 57 car parks was waived.
The project has been adjusted after it received 13 objections, mostly focused on the use of the adjoining View Lane. The developer has promised that the View Lane entrance will not be used regularly.
The function centre will have space for 175 people, to be known as Mackenzie Hall. The tavern will be known as Ms Batterhams, or Batty’s Bar, and is proposed to operate seven days a week.
A 97-square-metre rooftop garden is also included in the project, with space for 60 patrons.
Cr James Williams said the project would bring even more people to the area.
Cr Matt Emond said it was important to have the heritage of the building protected, and agreed that it would be a further attraction for the View Street precinct.
“It’s a very exciting development, an interesting and exciting opportunity not only for the View Street art precinct but the art precinct down to Charing Cross,” he said.