Lucas is a growth area on the city fringe

THE Darby family don’t always head out to Lucas, but when they do they always make time for a milkshake. 

Busy: Dale, Micah and Caleb Darby, from Black Hill, enjoy lunch at the Lucas Town Cafe. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Busy: Dale, Micah and Caleb Darby, from Black Hill, enjoy lunch at the Lucas Town Cafe. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Yesterday Dale, along with his sons Caleb, 17, and Micah, 14, were enjoying a late lunch at the Lucas Town Cafe.

“(Lucas) will continue to grow, especially with all the new houses that are coming up,” Mr Darby said. 

Caleb said that when he was older he wouldn’t mind moving to Lucas. 

“This is the first time I have been out here and (it looks like) it is a really nice place to live,” he said. 

Lucas Town Cafe owner Malo Xu and manager Lynn Zhang said business had grown since September last year. 

“Business is going really great, it is really busy,” Ms Zhang said. 

“We have a lot more regular customers and a lot of people come in the morning to get a coffee before work.”

Ms Zhang said the store serviced not only the Lucas township, but also rural towns just outside of Ballarat. 

Lucas shopper Alicia Juarez said she was surprised by the growing Alfredton population. 

“I’m surprised Alfredton is one of the highest growing suburbs in Victoria,” she said. 

But with rapid growth comes concerns. 

Ms Juarez said she was concerned about heavy traffic on Dyson Drive.

“What I’m concerned more about is the development of Dyson Drive and how busy it will become,” she said. 

Jayden Manton said he was in the process of moving away from Alfredton with his family, to live in Linton. 

“We lived here for 13 months . . . but now we are moving away,” Mr Manton said. 

“We aren’t too fussed about Alfredton. We don’t like the lifestyle.”

Integra land development manager Nick Grylewicz said almost 300 residential lots had been sold in  Lucas, with a further 1900 to be developed in the next seven to 10 years. 

“Lucas is emerging as one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing urban growth areas in regional Victoria,” Mr Grylewicz said. 

“These figures are good news for Ballarat, as the economic impact will underpin employment in the Ballarat development industry and deliver more work for Ballarat-based companies, create new jobs and help retain a skilled workforce.”

Stage one of the town centre is now open, with Wilson’s Fruit and Vegetables and Ballarat Community Health to open later in the year.