New multi-storey car parks and short-term housing are measures being considered for Ballarat’s health, knowledge and residential area.
City of Ballarat have just released a draft master plan for Health, Knowledge and City Living Precinct, which takes in areas from just north of Webster Street to Eyre Street in the south.
Five potential spots for multi-deck car parks have been identified – three near or on the Aquinas campus of Australian Catholic University, one behind the Ballarat Base Hospital off Anticline Lane and one next to the Queen Elizabeth Centre on Eyre Street.
But Ballarat shouldn’t expect multi-deck car parks to be built any time soon, as it will require negotiations between investors, landowners and City of Ballarat before land in the area can be optimised for parking.
While those consulted said the precinct provides a concentrated area of high-quality healthcare with vegetation and beautiful streetscapes, it was hindered by increasing traffic, poor movement for pedestrians and a lack of planning consistency.
The council is also looking at short and medium term apartments for the area - potentially connected to heritage buildings or above Sturt Street shopfronts – which could potentially house the families of those receiving care in hospital, university students and medical workers.
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said there had been “baseline conversations” with ACU, Ballarat Base Hospital and St John of God Hospital about the potential for multi-deck car parks in the area.
“Every organisaton will have its own individual plans, we need to make sure there’s a chance to come together,” she said.
There’s a lot of disjointed activity going on in the municipality, we want to make sure there’s a collaborative approach.Mayor Samantha McIntosh
“We know if we do this right, we’ll attract more skilled professions to Ballarat for the long-term. You want to know specialists are available to service country Victoria, because it’s not appropriate for everything to be in metro centres.”
Other priority projects for the area are an Integrated Research Hub, community spaces and theatrettes, and increased greenery.
A drop-in consultation will be held on July 17, 2pm to 6.30pm at the City Oval Bowling Club at 1406 Sturt Street, Lake Wendouree.
For more information, head to mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au.