Stop Press: SOS has indicated that they will press on with their protest of the Government plans for this precinct. Read the full statement in next week’s Miner

THE revitalisation of the Ballarat Station Precinct can now be realised, thanks to development approval and the issuing of a Heritage Victoria permit. Heritage Victoria issued the permit on Tuesday which 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.

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.

The project is being delivered in conjunction with the private sector, with the Labor 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.

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 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. The 2016/17 Victorian Budget will also deliver a third-storey on the multideck 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.