THE Catholic Diocese of Ballarat could be given the green light to turn unused farmland in Mount Clear into a profitable housing estate.
Ballarat City Council will vote at its meeting tomorrow night on Amendment C143, which rezones 4.5 hectares at the rear of Emmaus Primary School owned by the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation into a residential one zone.
The diocese has previously considered using the money raised from the land sale for Ballarat West growth zone schools and churches.
It follows an independent planning panel hearing in March, which recommended Amendment C143 be adopted.
The council received 21 submissions, including eight objections, when the application was first exhibited late last year.
The main issues were traffic and environmental problems, fire and emergency evacuation, landscape and amenity concerns and the need for a precinct plan.
In a report to the council, strategic planner Cameron Haines said the panel believed the existing Canadian Valley planning scheme controls were adequate.
“These controls include lot size, protecting and enhancing landscape values, open space, wildlife corridors and improvements to the condition of waterways,” Mr Haines said.
However, Mr Haines said the panel was “largely silent” about further strategic work in the area.
“The future use of land south of Amendment C143 to the current Technology Park boundary remains unknown though the panel’s report does say that further strategic work is required to meet local landowners’ expectations of future land use in the area.”
The council plans to rezone the land, from the east side of Geelong Road to the Mt Helen Technology Park, to urban growth zone and develop a precinct structure plan.