City approves third hotel development for city centre

Greater Bendigo City Council has approved a planning application for a 202-room development on the corner of Mollison Street and Williamson Street.

This project is valued at approximately $48M and will comprise two four-storey buildings that link via a glass airbridge, one six-storey building in the centre, along with a separate multi-storey car park. It will deliver a conference/function centre, restaurant, bar, and rooftop swimming pool and gym. It will have space for six retail premises facing Mollison Street and other food and drink premises within the complex.

It will front onto Mollison, Williamson and McLaren Streets and will face the other hotel to be built on the opposite corner of Mollison and Williamson Streets, which was approved by Council at the April 2021 Council meeting.

Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said the three hotel developments recently approved by Council represented an investment of around $100M by the private sector in Bendigo and illustrated the strong desire from businesses to invest in our thriving vibrant city.

“It’s another great sign of investor confidence in Bendigo and this latest hotel again delivers on objectives of the Bendigo City Centre Plan and also our Economic Development Strategy, A Stronger Greater Bendigo,” Cr Alden said.

“This project, together with those previously approved, will generate jobs in construction and ongoing operation and will add to the overall vibrancy and activation of our city centre. The contemporary offering found in this and other hotel developments is what we need to ensure we remain a modern regional city.”

As part of the decision, Council also needed to consider the heritage status of the former Bendigo Timber Company building (now ‘Forty Winks’) at 106 Williamson Street, and what weight could be given to that building under Victorian planning law at the present time.

“At a future meeting, Council will need to separately consider recommendations from a Planning Panel that has evaluated the City Centre Heritage Study. If a Heritage Overlay is applied to the former Bendigo Timber Company site, the developers will need to make a further planning application to demolish it, the outcome of which would be dependent on whether Council agreed with the application or not,” Cr Alden said.

“It is possible developers may have to update their designs to include the building, if Council or VCAT determine the building is significant enough to keep.

“There is room for both the famous heritage feel of our city and thoughtful development, and Council will continue to focus on opportunities that deliver on our goal for a thriving city centre that is attractive for investors.”

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