Council to reconsider plan for Woodmans Hill

MILLIONAIRE former Rivers Australia boss Philip Goodman still owns the land earmarked for the Rivers Park development at Woodmans Hill.

The Ballarat City Council will consider whether to withdraw a request to rezone the land tonight, after council officers were advised by representatives of Mr Goodman that the development “will not proceed in the form previously proposed”. 

The Woodmans Hill Gateway Precinct Master Plan would also be revised to remove any references to Rivers Park.

The council’s general manager of city strategy Natalie Reiter said Mr Goodman was still the applicant for the proposed development.

Specialty Fashion Group (SFG) took over Rivers Australia for $5 million in December.

The shock sale blindsided the council within weeks of a major breakthrough on the long-awaited Rivers Park development.

Only a month before, councillors voted to unlock the land at Ballarat’s eastern entrance in preparation for a new employment precinct around a Rivers Australia resort, warehouse and shop.

Council officers met Mr Goodman’s representatives last month to seek clarification on the status of the proposed development and were told the warehousing component would not be pursued.

But other development options, including an expansion of the cabin accommodation from the original proposal, are still being considered.

In October, Rivers Australia said the Woodmans Hill development would create 400 new jobs in Ballarat. 

But this week, mayor Joshua Morris said if the recommendation was carried by the council, not all of those new jobs would be created. 

SFG was unaware of the council’s decision to review the proposed development, its chief executive, Gary Perlstein, said.

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