A PLANNING permit application to demolish the Civic Hall does not necessarily have to include how the Mair Street land would be used or developed, according to Ballarat City Council.
In line with Ballarat City Council’s standard planning permit procedures, it says applications can include a description of any future use, including plans and elevations, information required by the relevant planning scheme and, if required, a description of the proposal’s likely effect.
However, this is only a planning scheme policy, not a planning law, and is at the judgement of planning officers.
Applications would also usually include accurate details of the land’s address, a description of the land’s current use, any encumbrances on the site, and the applicant and owner details.
The details come after councillors voted six to three at last week’s meeting to “direct council officers to prepare and lodge an application seeking to obtain approval to fully demolish the existing Civic Hall building”.
However, the three councillors opposed to the proposed demolition have since raised concerns about due process.
Announcing her notice of motion to rescind last week’s 6-3 vote, Cr Belinda Coates said she wanted more intense scrutiny on the decision’s governance, statutory planning and ethical issues.
Cr Coates was backed by fellow councillors Samantha McIntosh and Vicki Coltman.
Cr Coltman said she was concerned about a lack of any concrete decision on the site’s future, apart from pulling the building down.
“A big concern (is) ... in most likelihood, if you put in a planning permit without a clear vision for the site, your application would be refused,” Cr Coltman said.
“What sets us above the process?
“I just want a decision made that is economically and socially responsible.
“I don’t think we should be going down a long, protracted, costly path with no clear outcome at the end.
“There is always middle ground.”