THE Black Hill Lookout’s long-awaited revamp is back in focus.
Ballarat City Council officers have recommended the Black Hill Reserve masterplan be put out for community consultation before a draft version goes before councillors in July.
The proposal will be voted on at tomorrow night’s council meeting.
The council agreed on the masterplan last October after the iconic lookout – with its spectacular Ballarat views – was partly closed to traffic for safety reasons after a fist-sized hole opened in its access road in 2008.
Subsequent testing found several other holes, along with unsuitable fill material under the car park.
The masterplan’s “vision and objectives” include developing the reserve as Ballarat’s premier mountain biking site, encouraging other recreational uses and improving public facilities, including the viewing platform, toilets, barbecue shelters, picnic areas, seating, signage and paths and trails.
Other aims include improving pedestrian access to the reserve, providing historical on-site information and allowing safe access to old mining infrastructure, including some shafts.
The car park pavement would also be upgraded, which a 2011 report estimated would cost about $500,000.
Environmentally, the plan looks at protecting and enhancing established pine plantations and historical community plantings and avenues, while also carrying out new planting and vegetation works.
The plan was put together by a consultation committee, comprising council officers, Department of Environment and Primary Industries environmental planners, mountain bike group Club MUD, Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Group and a resident with a long association with on-site community plantings.
The report to the meeting states: “Given the diverse nature of interests and issues identified in the briefing paper and draft vision and objectives, it is recommended further community feedback be sought to confirm priorities and key focus areas for the draft master plan”.