THE Ballarat East Network is disappointed the suburb’s “significant character” will not be recognised.
The BE Net website also described a recent Ballarat City Council report into managing future Ballarat East development as “recommending not much and expecting less”.
“Great, there have been some very small changes made to the planning process, great the issues will be noted,” a BE Net spokesperson says on the website.
“However there is no mention of the green belt to the city’s east, there is a comment that the east is like any other area of Ballarat, and there is no significant nod to the character of this wonderful place.”
At a community forum on March 18, Ballarat East residents raised concerns about strategic land use issues and statutory planning processes in the suburb, with BE Net set up to try to preserve its green belt character.
But in a report to last week’s Ballarat City Council meeting, strategic planning manager Sean O’Keeffe said assessing the suburb’s character to vary the statutory planning controls would cost about $160,000 over two years.
“This strategic planning process is lengthy, complex and involves significant consultation and is not currently identified in any work program,” Mr O’Keeffe said.
He also warned there was a risk the project could be started without a budget or enough staff resources.
This would leave an impact on other currently identified strategic planning projects.
The council voted to inform the network of proposed changes to the statutory planning process.
That would include publishing application documents on the council’s website.
The council also acknowledged that more strategic work was needed to manage CBD fringe development, including Ballarat East.
It agreed that such work should be considered in future council plans and budgets.