The owner of historic Strathdale residence Nanga Gnulle plans to press ahead with subdivision plans after planning minister Richard Wynne on Thursday approved an amended heritage overlay at the site.
The owner – who did not wish to be named – said an application to divide the property into 13, 1000 square metre lots would soon be lodged with the City of Greater Bendigo.
“The plans will have changed slightly to incorporate the heritage overlays being extended on the property, but there’s still a development plan going forward,” she said.
The development is not expected to be high density.
Plans to subdivide the gardens at the 1.9 hectare property on Harley Street into 15 blocks attracted a range of objections in 2016, many of whom were concerned the historic value of the property could be lost.
Bendigo councillors in 2017 voted to send the heritage concerns to an independent panel, which made a number of recommendations in June.
Those recommendations included an increase in the size of the proposed heritage overlay.
The heritage overlay on the mud brick residence was further extended to take in seven metres to the northwest and southeast of the building, and extends to the rear boundary of the site. It also takes in the area from the northeast frontage to the top of the eastern side of the water course.
The heritage overlay will also apply to the mud brick house itself.
But objectors to development plans at the site have lingering environmental concerns should the residence be subdivided.
Objector Sandra Tunley-Cooper said the minister’s decision was “very pleasing”, but the community was wary of over development at the site.
“The heritage overlay of the house does not prevent subdivision – it stops the house being bulldozed,” she said.
Dr Tunley-Cooper likened the property to a wildlife corridor and suggested fauna may suffer if the site was developed.
She also suggested some nearby residents had traffic concerns.
However the property owner said the development, if approved, would not cut down trees without it being a necessity.
At an August council meeting, where COGB councillors voted in favour of extending the heritage overlay at the property, Cr Andrea Metcalf said the changes were a pleasing outcome, and she congratulated objectors on being able to extend the curtilege surrounding the house.
“Their diligence resulted in curtilege that resulted in what Alistair Knox wanted to achieve,” she said.
The original planning application for a 15-lot subdivision at the site received 64 objections.
If a planning application receives more than three objections when a council staff recommendation is to approve the development, the plan must go before councillors.
However, if the council staff recommendation is to reject an application, it will always go before councillors, regardless of the number of objections.
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