City of Greater Bendigo staff have urged councillors to oppose plans for the development of a key site in Strathfieldsaye.
The proposal lodged with the council in September 2020 is for a service station, medical centre and 'enterprise park' at the intersection of Strathfieldsaye Road, Tannery Lane, Wellington Street and Club Court.
The site also backs on to the Strathfieldsaye Primary School.
The developer has elected to take their application direct to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Council, saying the Bendigo council had taken too long to rule on the proposal.
A hearing before the planning tribunal is due to take place this September.
At their meeting this coming Thursday, councillors will be asked to vote on whether they will support or oppose the plans when they go before VCAT.
There have been 24 objections lodged against the proposal and council staff have recommended councillors also tell VCAT they do not support the plans.
The developer wants to build a medical centre with 10 consulting rooms, plus a service station and the enterprise park, which would feature 15 attached buildings.
"Approval of the proposal would likely undermine the vision for Strathfieldsaye," council staff say in their report to councillors.
"Further intensive proposals of this kind within the identified transition areas would be difficult to refuse in future if this application was supported."
The proposal is not the first controversial development suggested for the site.
In July 2013 VCAT rejected plans for a Woolworths supermarket at the site, proposed by Maverston Property Pty Ltd.
Bendigo councillors voted in April that year to oppose the development plan.
There were 122 submissions made on the plan, while the council received three petitions with 785 signatures.
VCAT decided in July 2013 that it agreed with the council's position.
The tribunal expressed concern about plans, commenting that "... the amount of landscaping fails to disguise the fact that this remains a proposal for a stand alone shopping centre set well back from, and isolated from, the surrounding streets by a sea of car parking".
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