Bendigo council has received a planning application that proposes to build seventeen sustainable and affordable apartments in the city centre.
Applicants Nightingale Bendigo Land Holding hope to transform unused land at 32 Forest Street into apartments, building on similar projects it has successfully undertaken in Melbourne's northern suburbs.
Nightingale apartments are sold below market price, with this saving protected for the next generation through the Nightingale Caveat, attached to the property title for 20 years.
The Caveat deters speculative trading of Nightingale homes, which would seek to capitalise on the savings made through its model, Nightingale said.
The group's first regional project in Ballarat proved popular, with more than two-thirds of the development sold before the planning application for the project cleared public advertising.
In its Bendigo application, Nightingale said it is in the process of completing a review of the project before it re-confirms its support.
Nightingale hopes 20 per cent of the dwellings within the project will be managed by a registered housing agency, including specialist disability accommodation and affordable rental housing providers.
The proposed construction site contains a Victorian era two-storey building, historically used as a dwelling and more recently office space.
It will be retained and re-established as part of any new development, but an extension to the rear of the building will be demolished.
A Heritage Impact Assessment undertaken by John Briggs concluded that development of the site would have "no adverse impact" and may produce "an exemplary outcome for conservation in the heritage context".
The 1133-square metre site was originally set aside for the Anglican Church in 1852 and was subdivided in 1998.
It neighbours the former All Saints' Anglican Church on MacKenzie Street, which recently saw its planning permit application to construct 14 apartments rejected by VCAT.
The completed three-storey Nightingale build would take on a maximum height of 12 metres and feature a basement car park with access from a to-be-constructed laneway on MacGillivray Lane, with capacity for five car spaces, bike storage and water tanks.
The main apartment building would be at the rear of the existing dwelling, fronting MacGillivray Lane and comprise of six two-bedroom apartments and nine one-bedroom apartments.
A second, smaller apartment building on Forest Street would include two two-bedroom apartments and common dining, kitchen, lounge, laundry and workshop facilities for all apartments.
The application said appropriate arrangements will be made with council and the developer of 14 MacKenzie Street in relation to upgrading MacGillivray Lane so it is suitable for traffic.
Communal produce gardens including citrus trees, vegetable and herb gardens are included in the development's design.
According to its website, sustainability is central to every Nightingale building.
"It is not an afterthought, it is not something tacked on later," it said.
Nightingale homes are 100 per cent carbon neutral in operations, with every building 100 per cent electric, with no gas plumbed into buildings, which are powered only by certified Green Power, supplemented with rooftop solar collection.
Sale of a Nightingale property is offered to those on the Nightingale community purchase list first, unless the owner wishes to sell or transfer the property to a family member.
The property's maximum resale price cannot exceed the purchase price, minus stamp duty, plus the percentage increase in median house prices in the suburb where the property is located for the year you bought it to the year you're selling it, as determined by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.
Council has received further information from the applicant's to help inform its decision to grant or deny the application, with a decision not yet made.