By Jackson Russell
An extension to Hogan’s Hotel in Wallan has been approved on the condition that indented parallel car parking is built behind the hotel along Bentinck Street.
The unanimous decision comes after Mitchell Shire Council deferred its decision at last month’s meeting, when the applicant submitted an amendment to the officer’s recommendation which wasn’t received by councillors until the weekend before the September 16 meeting.
The extension will include the construction of a lounge, new lobby area from the Bentinck Street entrance, additional kitchen and enclosure of the existing verandah but remove 11 car parking spaces from the existing car park.
The extension will increase patron numbers for 290 to 450. This remains within the bounds of the current liquor licence, the red line of which will be extended to include the proposed lounge and verandah, while service hours remain unchanged.
Central ward councillor Annie Goble said council postponed its decision last month to ensure the application was considered properly.
“There has been a tremendous amount of debate regarding the reduction in car parking,” she said.
“I believe our officers have made a wise decision to allow a reduction of 11 spaces but put indented parking into Bentick Street, which would allow street parking but not affect traffic flow.
“I believe we’re being quite generous by allowing them a reduction in parking adding indented parking for the community.”
While voting in favour of the extension, north ward councillor Fiona Stevens said she would’ve liked to see the hotel’s ‘red line area’ remain as it was.
“Hogan’s Hotel has been there a long time and provides a great service but we need to look closely at places that want to expand their licenced area,” she said.
“I would’ve liked to see part of that extension kept alcohol-free so people can come in and not worry about being surrounded by alcohol.”
While there was no mention of the hotel’s application for 20 more poker machines during the council debate, the hotel owners have previously indicated the extension of the hotel could depend on the success of the gaming application.