Council approves Aspire precinct development

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Greater Bendigo City Council has supported a planning permit application to develop the Aspire precinct on High Street, Bendigo.

The Aspire precinct is described as Australia’s first faith-based precinct that will deliver a learning, community and business hub, including space for permanent and temporary exhibitions, library, indoor and outdoor event spaces, an education and resource centre, café, retail outlet and spaces for business meetings.

Deputy Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said the precinct would encourage inter-faith collaboration and learning, and promote resilience.

“Once complete, the Aspire precinct will not only enhance the iconic Sacred Heart Cathedral but also be a great introduction to central Bendigo,” Cr Alden

“The proposal makes use of the existing space in front of the cathedral and will enhance the visitor experience to the cathedral and Bendigo.

“A facility such as this will also complement Council’s objectives of developing a more inclusive and welcoming community for people of all faiths.”

The planning application includes a waiver for the development of 40 car parking spaces, which concerned some residents.

The City of Greater Bendigo is undertaking a review of car parking, including the Residential Parking Policy.

The area surrounding the Aspire precinct has been selected to trial a number of 2 hour time restricted parking bays. The trial will run for four months from January.

The trial follows concerns raised by residents in relation to access to residential properties during the day. A petition was also presented to Council on behalf of residents in this area, who were concerned about on-street parking for residents and visitors.

It is anticipated that providing a number of time restricted bays may promote vehicle turnover, creating available spaces for visitors and tradespeople. It should also provide residents with an option to park for short periods to access their property during the day.

The City is also investigating the option of creating a designated bus pick up/drop off zone at the steps to the cathedral in Wattle Street. Bus drivers would then be expected to park their bus in an alternate location, for example at Tom Flood Sports Centre.


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