Inconsistent heritage overlay rules around Lake Wendouree have allowed a controversial mix of mansions to spring up along Wendouree Parade.
Each new addition, and the loss of the older home that stood in its place, has become a talking point and differing opinions among neighbours, visitors and the wider community.
Experts say the past two years in particular have seen a big acceleration in the change of the streetscape.
VIEW OUR GALLERY TO SEE HOW WENDOUREE PARADE HAS CHANGED HERE
“The lake has always been pretty diverse in the sense that there’s been some period homes, some Edwardian, some Victorian then the more mid-century ones. There’s never really been an overall era in any way,” said architect Alan Morton.
“Anyone considering building around the lake should consider the context of the lake environment and the broader Ballarat context, but the impression we do get is sometimes some of the new houses don’t quite take that in to effect perhaps as well as they should.”
Mr Morton said modern homes built around Wendouree Parade were not necessarily a bad thing, so long as they respected the fantastic environment the look out upon.
But he said where there was potential to retain a home’s facade and keep it within the context of the streetscape, that should happen even if new works and additions were made.
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the heritage overlay around Lake Wendouree, did not include every house, and was not as consistent as some of the other heritage overlays that take in entire streets.
“The heritage overlay put in place many years ago is inconsistent and juts in like a sore tooth around the lake. It means there’s not the same consistency of built form around the lake as we see in other places,” she said.
“As a result of that we have seen a lot of change over more recent years.
“Our heritage overlays are put there for a reason. We know Ballarat loves its history and heritage, we know people love the stories of our past, and we know that by retaining buildings it helps us collect and record and share those stories of the past.”
Cr McIntosh said it was important to try to retain the city’s heritage homes and buildings which could come under challenge from the city’s growing population and state and federal government decentralisation policies.
“We know we’ve got a growing population in Ballarat and the thing to make sure is that our plans are futuristic and provide for what’s happening and take in to consideration a visionary approach, as well as protecting our past,” she said.