SOUTHERN Grampians Shire Council has voted to refuse a planning application to demolish Hamilton’s vacant George Hotel.
The motion to give Flint Architects a notice of permit refusal required the casting vote of Mayor Albert Calvano due to opposition from three councillors.
“The demolition, in my way of thinking, would create a hole in our entrance to our town,” Cr Calvano said when casting his vote.
“What I cannot understand is that the developer hasn’t given me a reason and what they would develop that site into.
“It’s also that we have a heritage overlay on our streetscape . . . I’m not just talking about memories; when they demolished the units out the back of the George all I can see now are bricks and rubble.”
Crs Katrina Rainsford and Paul Battista voted in favour of the motion which would deny the permit for demolition, with Crs Cathy Armstrong, Peter Dark and Dennis Dawson voting against.
Cr Bruach Colliton absented himself from the chamber during the debate and vote process.
Shire futures director, Michael McCarthy, told councillors that the shire report recommended that the permit be denied on heritage and economic impact grounds.
Full story in The Spectator on Saturday, March 15, 2014.