A comprehensive plan to guide Ballarat East’s management until 2040 was adopted at Wednesday’s Ballarat City Council meeting.
The Ballarat East Local Area Plan was on the agenda after four years of research and community consultation.
It will provide a long-term vision, objectives, strategies and an implementation plan for both the community and the City of Ballarat to manage the area, which is also home to the historic Eureka story and Eureka Centre.
The Local Area Plan is underpinned by the Ballarat East Neighbourhood Landscape Character and Significant Views Study.
Development Guidelines have also been developed to provide guidance to developers about community values and expectations.
The Ballarat East Local Area Plan has been undertaken as a UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) pilot project which uses a participatory planning approach and ensures community values are at the heart of any decision making.
The City of Ballarat is the first local government area in the world to undertake local area planning using the HUL approach.
The plan sets out five themes to guide future land use and development, including:
- Natural environment
- Cultural and built heritage
- Settlement and liveability
- Community services and infrastructure
- A prosperous future
Key issues to be managed include:
- Neighbourhood Character – through the introduction of character controls in the Planning Scheme
- Waterways – through the broadening of the Public Parks and Recreation Zone to Council-owned reserves where the zoning is currently residential or commercial
- Enhancing the vitality of local areas, particularly ‘corner shop’ sites which are currently not being effectively used due to residential zoning issues – through a new Heritage Overlay schedule
Consultation showed community concerns include:
- Higher density should not mean high rise
- Heritage needs protection
- New development needs to be consistent with the suburb’s character
- Existing trees should be retained and space for new trees provided in new developments
- Concerns with loss of large trees and wildlife habitat
- Public amenities, such as bike paths, walking tracks, a dog park, public toilets and drinking fountains, are needed in key locations
- Public transport needs to be improved and provided along key routes
- Improved water management.
Local Area Plans recognise the unique nature of Ballarat’s suburban areas and have so far been completed for Learmonth, Cardigan Village and Burrumbeet, and are underway for Miners Rest, Brown Hill and Buninyong.
This is the way for City of Ballarat planning in the future where local character is central to planning and the community makes it clear their desire to protect important areas of neighbourhood character.