The Ballarat Station Precinct revitalisation project in Victoria has been given the green light, following the issue of a permit by Heritage Victoria.

The overall project is worth more than $50 million and includes an upgrade to the historic Goods Shed, a new convention and events centre, a Quest Apartment Hotel, shops, restaurants and a new public plaza.

The permit will see key heritage features of the Goods Shed preserved at an estimated cost of $4 million.

Existing railway tracks from the east of the Goods Shed will be retained and incorporated into the development, and a heritage interpretation program illustrating the history and operation of the Goods Yard and Goods Shed will be installed at the site.

In order to maintain the prominence and setting of the Goods Shed on the site, further development in the areas between it and the railway station buildings and Nolan Street will be prohibited by a legally-binding covenant under the Heritage Act 1995.

The project is being delivered in conjunction with the private sector, with the Victorian Government investing $25 million to help transform this significant yet largely vacant part of Ballarat’s historic CBD into a vibrant accommodation and retail area.

In approving the plan, the Government is satisfied that developer Pellicano has complied with the requirements of the planning scheme.

Acting Minister for Regional Development, Jacinta Allan, said, “The Andrews Labor Government’s significant investment in projects across Ballarat will revitalise the city and transform it to secure its long-term position as a place where people want to live, work and do business.”

The Government’s investment will also provide around 140 jobs for the area and deliver fundamentally important amenity upgrades for commuters in recognition of the station’s importance as a transport hub.

Such investment and conditions imposed on the development of the site will protect local heritage. An interpretation of the former timber hut over the North Weighbridge scale, burnt down in 2014, will be built to protect the remaining weighbridge scales.

Acting Minister for Planning, Lisa Neville, said, “We know how important this site is to the people of Ballarat, that’s why we’ve ticked all the boxes to ensure this project achieves good heritage outcomes.”

The 2017/18 Victorian Budget will also deliver a third-storey on the multi-deck car park to meet future commuter needs, while $5 million has been allocated to the delivery of a dedicated bus interchange in the station precinct.

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