A TEMPORARY change to zoning in Buninyong has residents fearful that developers could flood the town and cut up blocks of land.
The state government set the minimum lot size for the area at 300sq/m several weeks ago.
However Planning Minister Matthew Guy said a more permanent zoning of 800sq/m, as requested by the City of Ballarat, would be in place in the area within the next two months.
A group of residents gathered on Thursday for a meeting with Opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee to discuss their concerns about the changes, which also impact parts of Mount Helen, Canadian and Ballarat East.
Mount Helen resident Linda Zibell said she was shocked the change had gone through in the first place.
“This is totally out of character with this area,” he said.
“This area has a semi-rural feel and I know there is an urbanisation that has happened here in Buninyong but its character is to have bigger gardens so there is an interaction with the countryside.”
A press release issued by Mr Guy at the time clearly stated the rezoning was to ensure a “steady continuation of appropriate housing developments”.
Ms Zibell said she had a real fear developers could come in and change the town for the worse.
“I know they could because I have seen it happen in Mount Helen; there was an area there that had its zoning temporarily changed and it wasn’t noticed and within that two years developers came in and cut the blocks up into tiny blocks,” she said.
“You have drastically altered the expectations of living out here.”
Mr Tee said parts of the community had been horrified by the news of the change.
“They have a council that was backing in a status quo position, they love the look and feel of the community,” he said.
“They are upset and worried about how it will look in five years, you will see a flood of development coming through.
“This is very a popular area, there is a lot of demand, this will open the flood gates, it will be like the gold rush all over again.”