One per cent of Ballarat residential land set to have status changed

ONE per cent of residential land in Ballarat will be prioritised for new housing growth and higher density living under a proposal before the Ballarat City Council tonight.

Selected areas close to the city centre, within and around the council-zoned Wendouree major activity centre, in the Mount Clear and Sebastopol activity centres, adjacent to the Wendouree Railway Station and in west Alfredton and west Ballarat are recommended to be rolled over to residential growth zone (RGZ) status.

The council has until July 1 to complete its implementation of the state government’s new residential zones and is set to vote on the first round of recommendations at tonight’s meeting.

The majority of urban residential land in Ballarat is proposed to convert from residential 1 to the new default general residential zone which allows for “moderate housing growth”.

A third neighbourhood residential zone, which protects heritage and “neighbourhood character”, is proposed for about five per cent of properties.

These fall in areas on the fringe of the Canadian Forest in Ballarat East and Canadian and most areas within the Buninyong township.

Reformed residential zones for Victoria were recently introduced by Planning Minister Matthew Guy to provide greater clarity about the type of development that could be expected in residential areas. 

City of Ballarat planning staff said areas proposed for RGZ in Central Ballarat, as part of the initial roll out, were limited to “a relatively discrete number of areas with identified development potential”. 

A significant number of other opportunities to encourage activity and higher density housing development in the inner city through RGZ status have also been identified.

But the council needs to further investigate these locations due to potential flood risks, heritage overlays and current 

commercial zoning. 

“The Ballarat strategy process will offer significant potential to pursue additional higher density housing opportunities within central Ballarat and the CBD,” the council’s city strategy staff said.

A period of formal public exhibition of the proposed changes is expected to take place from March 20 for 20 business days.

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