Residents say 'no' to Hickman Street housing plan

ABOUT 60 residents turned out on Sunday to “Say No” to a proposed 52-unit Hickman Street development.

A community day was held at White Flat Oval to raise awareness of the plan, which residents said would be a major overdevelopment of the area.

The units would be built with National Rental Affordability Scheme funding and be available to middle to low-income earners.

The proposal is expected to go before Ballarat City Council in the next few meetings.

Resident Geraldine Lewis said the units would be too small and would only include a lounge room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

“This is not conducive to mental health,” Ms Lewis said.

She also said there was a lack of parking, drainage and footpaths in the street to cater for a large increase in residents and traffic.

“It will not be a healthy environment.”

Fellow resident Leon Barton said the plan was “just bad common sense”, while Rod Lewis said they weren’t concerned about having social housing nearby, but rather the size and volume of the units.

“I do believe it will be good, but what we’re saying is 12 to 15 apartments is acceptable ... 52 is an overdevelopment of this area.”

However, Ballarat City Council chief executive officer Anthony Schinck has said there was currently an underuse of Ballarat housing and a significant demand for medium density inner-city rental housing.

Developers Ethan Property Group had also said it would help relieve Ballarat’s rental stress.