Council to seek guidance on former Ballarat Children's Home development

THE Ballarat City Council will seek independent guidance on the development of the former Ballarat Children’s Home.

Councillors heard a submission from former orphanage resident Phyllis Reed last night, before voting unanimously to bring an independent planning panel into the discussion.

Ms Read said she was grateful for the council’s efforts to ensure the children of the orphanage were listened to.

“I’m so grateful you are listening and not saying ‘go away’ and ticking the boxes,” she said.

She said the coroner was continuing an investigation into her inquiry of children being buried on the Victoria Street site.

City strategy general manager Natalie Reiter said an independent person would now hear from submitters, the developer and the council.

“They put together a report and put forward their opinion of what should happen,” she said.

The former Ballarat Children’s Home was sold to a developer in 2011 for a residential subdivision with a medical centre and shopping complex.

But the buildings would need to be rezoned for commercial, mixed and residential use and public consultation was recently invited.

The council recently approved several buildings for demolition but rejected the developer’s bid to knock down the majority of structures.

The decision is the subject of a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal appeal.