City councillors should grant developers a permit to build a hotel in Williamson Street despite objections from members of the public, a report recommends.
Developers want to build a six storey, 105 room hotel plus restaurant and bar on a vacant site next to the Bush's Produce Store building.
They have been unable to convince seven objectors to withdraw their concerns despite revising plans to be more sensitive to nearby building's heritage value.
The matter will now be considered at Monday's City of Greater Bendigo council meeting.
Many objectors were concerned about the hotel design's bulk and height, as well as its external design, according to a report planning officers submitted to councillors ahead of Monday's meeting.
Objectors were also concerned that the hotel would overshadow St Paul's Cathedral's bell tower, which they described as a unique part of the city's skyline.
Some objectors feared that the hotel's height and bulk would detract from other significant heritage buildings nearby, including Bush's and the heritage buildings at the corner of Williamson and Myers Street.
Heritage Victoria did not oppose developers' plans but did warn that the build would "result in a profound change" to the feel of the streetscape around the Bush's store complex.
It would have preferred a building that was not so tall.
The council's heritage advisor was also concerned about the building's height but did say the initial proposal was "generally acceptable".
The advisor later welcomed design changes that pushed taller parts of the building closer to the intersection of Mollison and Williamson Street, where they would not have quite the same impact on neighbouring heritage structures.
They had some reservations about the height of the building but council officers said the advisor had acknowledged a tall building is allowable.
Council officers said the hotel's latest design would impact on the cathedral's bell tower's prominence, which was "still not ideal for the context but has less impact in this form than the original proposal".
Objectors also voiced concerns about the depths that construction workers would need to dig during an excavation for the car park.
They were concerned about vibrations from machinery affecting nearby heritage buildings and changing groundwater levels.
Council staff said those concerns would be dealt with at a later stage when developers would be asked to submit "detailed" engineering and drainage plans.
Some objectors also voiced concerns about car parking and bicycle facilities. They felt that the proposal did not have enough onsite parking for guests as well as patrons of the restaurant, bar and function centre.
Council staff said they were satisfied with plans for 82 car parks in a proposed basement on site. They noted plans for a valet service to make sure spaces were being used effectively.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: