THE OLD HEPBURN HOTEL has been temporarily protected from demolition following ministerial intervention.
It comes as Hepburn Shire Council moves to permanently protect the iconic hotel, located at 236 Main Road, Hepburn.
The single-storey weatherboard hotel was first built in 1854 and began operating as a licensed general store during the early gold rush period.
Historically significant due to links with the German and Swiss Italians gold miners who descended on the area in the 1850s and 60s, it was one of the longest running pubs in the region.
While it burnt down in the bushfires of 1909, it was rebuilt in keeping with the Swiss Italian/ German heritage. Very few similar buildings remain.
In 2018, council issued development approval for a seven-lot subdivision for the site - which proposed the construction of six accommodation units as well as the use of part of the hotel as a meeting space.
The building was sold in October 2018, with the much-loved pub closing its doors in March 2019.
After that, the council received a planning application for a twelve-lot subdivision, which included the demolition of the hotel.
The proposal was not accepted by the council, though there was no heritage overlay to protect the building.
Following confirmation of the building's historical significance, the council moved to protect the building from demolition by seeking interim protection through the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne.
Writing to the minister, the council sought interim protection for the hotel until its planning scheme could be amended to allow for permanent heritage controls.
Mr Wynne has since approved Amendment C79 to be applied to the Hepburn Planning Scheme.
This means the council is able to place interim heritage controls over the old building until April 30, 2021.
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Hepburn Shire Council CEO Evan King said council would now undertake a formal planning scheme amendment to introduce permanent planning controls to protect the site.
"Council is currently working with the owners of the site to ensure that any new works are respectful of the historic pub," Mr King said.
For further information, contact Hepburn Shire Council's planning department on 5348 2306.