COUNCILLORS will allow an historic hotel's balcony to be torn down over public safety fears.
The Loddon Shire council voted on Tuesday to allow owners to take down the Royal Hotel's balcony and verandah but have asked that the grape vine and several posts remain for a plant trellis system.
It came amid a final push from some in the community to at least keep the lowest storey of the structure.
Councillor Wendy Murphy said she had spoken in depth with members of the public and in particular with members of Inglewood's historical society.
"They would probably have preferred the bottom half of the verandah be kept," she said.
Cr Murphy said the whole of the verandah was in poor condition.
It was blocking pedestrian paths and potentially endangering passing motorists.
"The better option is to have it come down and then work with the owner in the future to see what comes of it," Cr Murphy said.
A heritage consultant hired by the shire had earlier raised concerns about the state of the verandah.
"Despite appearances to the contrary, often the structural timber members are inadequate [and] do not comply with current building regulations and safety codes," she said.
The consultant recommended detailed photos be taken so that the balcony could be restored if the desire and funds became available.
She said saving the current verandah would be an expensive exercise, especially at a time of economic instability triggered by the coronavirus.
The hotel itself will remain.
It dates back to the 1860s and was designed by iconic Bendigo goldfields architects William Vahland and Robert Getzshmann.
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