Plans to demolish two Merrivale homes and rebuild five dwellings in their place were approved by Warrnambool City councillors - but the decision wasn't unanimous. Cr Angie Paspaliaris opposed the application from the Salvation Army for public housing but didn't address the council meeting on Monday, December 4, 2023 about why she voted against it. The project would see neighbouring homes in Henry Street razed and replaced with four three-bedroom, two-story homes and one single-storey home with two bedrooms. The proposal attracted eight objections with concerns about safety, increased crime, increased traffic and high density. Councillors voted 5-1 to approve the proposal. Cr Debbie Arnott was not at the council meeting. Cr Richard Ziegler said there had been a number objections from the community. "I'm sure the officers' conditions have addressed those adequately," he said. The properties were among the 13 houses the council - then worth $4 million - gifted the Salvation Army in 2021 as part of the state government's Big Build project. The Salvation Army has plans to use the land from those properties and almost double the amount of houses. The Salvation Army also plans to build 21 social housing units behind its new chapel on Mortlake Road which is set to begin mid-next year. The $6.5 million proposal was first unveiled in August last year when demand for social housing had reach an "all-time high" with at least 80 people on the waiting list. The development includes a mix of two and three-bedroom single and double-storey units.