Ballarat’s urban fringe looks set to continue to house the bulk of the city’s new residents as population surges past 150,000 in the next 30 years, according to a leading real estate figure.
Over the past decade Ballarat’s western perimeter has been transformed as new suburbs have popped up to engulf the bulk of the city’s population growth.
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Greenfield development has historically accounted for about 60 per cent of Ballarat’s population growth, compared to 40 per cent infill development.
However Ballarat City Council hopes in the next two decades to see these figures balance out to 50-50 in order to promote the concept of a “10-minute city”, where all residents live within a 10-minute drive of key services.
Real Estate Institute of Victoria Ballarat president Christine Segaert said it was “ambitious” to aim for an even split in population growth as most people moving to Ballarat would be looking to escape metropolitan density.
“A lot of people who want a tree change are coming here to have that (block size),” Ms Segaert said. “The properties in town are often substantially more expensive than what people can get going out of town.”
The Ballarat West Precinct Structure Plan from 2012 released more than 1200 hectares of farmland to become residential property, paving the way for a host of new suburbs.
While parcels of land towards Mount Rowan and Ballarat East have been earmarked as potential future growth corridors for the city’s expansion, council has not yet put a timeline on their development.
An RMIT study completed by Professor Michael Buxton found a 50 to 70 per cent increase in Ballarat’s population could be entirely accommodated in new developments in existing suburbs.
In a statement Ballarat City development and planning director Angelique Lush said “supporting new inner city housing and the re-use of upper storeys of existing buildings in the CBD are key housing priorities which would have a significant impact on bringing activity and life to the CBD, with benefits in terms of street life, vibrancy, and community safety”.
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Delacombe – Greenhalghs Road
Delacombe - south of Glenelg Highway
Ballarat – Overall