THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has given the go-ahead to four big Ballarat developments.
A Gregory Street West materials recycling centre, a Lyons Street North five-storey block of apartments and medical centre, the Learmonth NBN tower and a new Ballarat Clarendon College school building have all been approved by VCAT.
However, BCC is only allowed to knock down four historic homes, instead of six, in Ajax Street.
All but the BCC proposal had been approved by Ballarat City Council.
A planning activity quarterly report presented to Wednesday night’s Ballarat City Council meeting also showed $69 million worth of works were approved from July to September.
Of this, $33 million were residential, $32 million commercial and $4 million industrial.
A draft 2011-12 Planning Permit Activity Report also showed 82 per cent of applications were processed within 60 days, which is above the state government’s 80 per cent target and the 67 per cent regional average.
The report also shows only 54 per cent of applications were completed within 60 days in 2008, with 63 per cent in 2009 and 70 per cent in 2010.
The council’s growth and development director Eric Braslis said, historically, “planning hasn’t been as efficient as it could be”.
Councillor Ben Taylor said there had been considerable work done in the planning area.
“To go from 54 per cent to 63 to 70 to 82 is a tremendous effort,” Cr Taylor said.
Cr Cheryl Bromfield also said planning department improvements was one of this council’s great successes.
Mr Braslis said there was a “significant spike” in planning applications in the quarter, with 167 in August alone.
There were also 28 housing applications triggered by the Sanctuary Estate’s Bushfire Management Overlay.