THE City of Ballarat has signed on to pilot a UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape plan the day after the majority of councillors voted in favour of demolishing the Civic Hall.
Deputy mayor Samantha McIntosh and chief executive officer Anthony Schinck signed the agreement yesterday with World Institute of Training and Research for the Asia Pacific Region vice-director Ron van Oers at a ceremony at the Ballarat Town Hall.
The strategic co-operation agreement is a big picture initiative that outlines principles for preserving the urban historic landscape of cities when planning decisions are made.
It does not relate to specific buildings but rather how they fit within the historical landscape. Under the agreement, Ballarat will collaborate with other historic cities around the world taking part in the program.
Cr McIntosh, who was one of three councillors who voted against demolishing the Civic Hall, said the document would enable the council and developers to take a broader view when making planning decisions, to take into account the city’s heritage.
She admitted the timing of the announcement was “unfortunate”.
“It is a very special opportunity for the growth of the city and the historical landscape,” Cr McIntosh said.
“The decision of the council last night was to consider planning options without the hall. The timing of signing this today and the decision made last night might be seen as unfortunate because this is a very positive initiative.”