COUNCILLORS could knock back plans to subdivide a block close to the city centre into four lots over concerns it would compromise the wider area's heritage values.
City of Greater Bendigo officers have warned that four dwellings proposed for vacant land at 149 Williamson Street would be too bulky to meet requirements for the heritage precinct.
The advice comes despite officers conceding the area was ideal for infill development because it was so close to the city centre's infrastructure.
Councillors will make their decision on the matter when they gather on Monday evening.
Any decision to knock the subdivision back would be the latest in a series of complications linked to the property's location in the heritage precinct.
Plans to demolish a non-heritage listed house at the property were delayed despite two fires in as many years, and issues with squatters.
That was because the council required developers to have plans to replace any homes in the historic precinct.
However, the council ended up waiving that requirement earlier this year in the aftermath of a fire at the property.
The site's owner had been able to get an emergency demolition order following the fire, which had gutted much of the interior of the building.
Police believed that fire had been started by a squatter who had been living at the property.
Council officers have now raised concerns about two of the homes developers would build if they got the green light to subdivide the block.
Both would have upper storeys that would "dominate" the surrounding streetscape.
"This is because Williamson Street is an almost exclusively single storey streetscape, so inserting a clearly two storey element is going to make that the dominant feature," they said in a report ahead of the meeting.
Their other concerns included the way buildings' fences and driveways might impact a precinct dating back to the gold-era of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Williamson Street is in an area defined mostly by timber houses that are "visually cohesive", according to one Bendigo and Eaglehawk heritage study.
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