BALLARAT’S western growth has been fast-tracked.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has brought forward the Ballarat West Precinct Structure Plan’s approval, which will bring new jobs and millions of dollars of investment to the city.
The PSP comprises of three areas and covers 1290 hectares of land south of Alfredton and west of Delacombe and Sebastopol.
“This is a terrific boost to the Ballarat economy and will go a long way to combating housing affordability pressures in the region,” Mr Guy said.
“As Victoria’s third largest city and Australia’s third largest inland metropolitan area, Ballarat is growing strongly and needs to plan ahead for the long term.”
Ballarat mayor Mark Harris said the PSP, which has been a seven-year project, will result in 18,000 new homes being built over the next 30 to 40 years.
“The Ballarat West Growth Area is a priority project for this council and there is no doubt it is critical for Ballarat’s population growth,” Cr Harris said.
“The approval is keenly awaited by a number of landowners who are ready to develop, which supports local jobs and significant investment to our local economy.”
Cr Harris said the council was also planning community facilities for the new areas, including roads, parks, co-located sporting grounds, kindergartens, shops and a library.
The plan also reserves land for five new schools, community centres and walking tracks.
There will be further consultation on the infrastructure plan with the community and landowners over the next few months.
A Ballarat West Development Contribution Plan has also been set up to fund infrastructure, with developers to pay $160,000 per hectare. Mr Guy said the integration of the three precincts into the PSP would allow for the smooth transition of non-urban to urban land, while future employment opportunities would be created by the adjoining Ballarat West Employment Zone.
“The area is a prime location for increased urban development and will strengthen Ballarat as a major regional centre driving connectivity with Melbourne and other major regional centres,” Mr Guy said.
Last May, the minister also fast-tracked the PSP for the suburb of Lucas, currently being developed.