BALLARAT East residents need to be vigilant for yellow planning permit signs, according to Ballarat East Network spokeswoman Erin McCuskey.
Speaking after a Ballarat East Network meeting on the weekend, Ms McCuskey said it was vital to protect the suburb’s green belt.
“We can’t put it back once it’s gone,” Ms McCuskey said.
She said about 130 residents attended the meeting on Sunday afternoon, including Ballarat City councillors Des Hudson and Ben Taylor, the council’s growth and development director Eric Braslis, and its strategic planning manager Sean O’Keefe.
“We concentrated on positive specific actions the council could take,” she said.
These included supporting community consultation before planning permits are submitted, changing permit language to make it less adversarial, training and support for council officers to conduct neighbourhood studies, and supporting developers to make better decisions about developments.
“Nobody wants to go to VCAT. Let’s try and find a better solution before the planning permit goes in,” Ms McCuskey said. “People are very keen to support and protect the green belt. At least now they feel like they’ve been heard.”
Groups at the meeting included Friends of Lake Esmond, Friends of Sparrow Ground, Forgotten Australians and the Ballarat Environment Network.