A Rivers Australia proposal for a resort, warehouse and shop at Woodman’s Hill is a step closer to realisation after the Ballarat City Council voted to unlock the land.
Councillors also supported a rezoning proposal by a second developer in the area, in a move that could open up the city’s eastern entrance to a major employment precinct.
The council will now write to Planning Minister Matthew Guy requesting the changes.
Rivers Australia had lodged an application for a large-scale resort, warehouse and shop, securing 400 jobs for Ballarat, while local businessmen Andrew Maher and Trevor Wilson were also seeking to rezone their site between Brewery Tap Road and Orchard Lane.
The planned Rivers’ proposal would be known as Rivers Park.
A report to the council said the development represented a direct investment of $50 million, creating significant flow-on economic benefits.
At Wednesday’s meeting the council voted to provide ‘provisional support’ for the Rivers’ proposal and for ‘mixed-use’ development between the Rivers Park site and Orchard Lane.
As part of the initiative, the council will contact VicRoads over options to improve the Brewery Tap Road and Western Highway intersection.
The council acknowledged the potential economic investment the proposed projects would bring to Woodman’s Hill
Progress was also made on the Black Hill lookout’s future after councillors endorsed the preparation of the Black Hill Reserve Master Plan.
It will be completed by early next year.
Council officers are investigating a long-term vision for the iconic city landmark that could see it redeveloped with new facilities including public toilets, barbecues and bus parking.
The cheapest option would cost $468,000 to return the car park to its previous state and make vehicle access safe in the short to medium-term.
But a second option, costing $600,000, would redevelop the closed-off section of the car park and lookout as recreational space and provide improved facilities.
The lookout would get new public toilets, a viewing platform, and a car park with a turning area for buses.
The previous Ballarat City Council voted to develop a management strategy for the area, but there has never been a long-term vision for the site.