Details of a major potential development in Brown Hill are currently being advertised on the City of Ballarat planning website.
Developers plan to subdivide an extensive area of land on Hillview Road into 111 separate lots, all of them exceeding 800 square meters in size. If successful, the planning application could pave the way for another extensive housing estate in the Brown Hill area.
The area - known as Lot 2 Hillview Road - is in a neighbourhood residential zone, with significant development already under way in a growth area north of the Western Freeway and the Daylesford Road.
Several other building projects are currently visible from the Hillview Road site, close to Gong Gong Reservoir and the Creswick State Forest
It is an undulating site comprising of bush and paddocks within a Bushfire Management Overlay, covering a total area of just over 19 hectares. The proposed subdivision would take place over four stages, with 74 lots having an area of between 801 and 900 square meters, 20 ranging from 901 to 1000, 15 blocks sized from 1001 to 1500 square meters and two plots exceeding that size.
The average lot size is 916 square meters, with planners saying the future development would suit families.
A new internal road system would include four small courts, with roads at least 18 metres wide.
There would also be two reserves on the site, the larger of which would comprise a so-called "riparian buffer" between the development and the Yarrowee Creek.
Documents on the planning website show the project has already been before planning officers, who have requested revisions to the original plans.
Amended subdivision layout plans, bushfire management statement and vegetation assessment were all submitted for the revised application.
The developer is stated as Riviera Estate Pty, a company registered to the address of the Ballarat-based Gull and Co Group.
At the moment, the proposal is for the subdivision of the land as well as the removal of vegetation. Documents submitted on the City of Ballarat planning website include details of the proposed size of the subdivided plots. The current planning permit application does not include specific plans for the type of housing that would be built.
The Gull and Co group is currently advertising the sale of land on a number of other addresses in the area, including for the Hills Estate and Apple Tree Hill Estate on its website. These include addresses on Gala Close, Blanc Court, Hilltop Road and Hillview Road.
In preparation for the project, there would be 46 large trees removed. A koala habitat assessment was also prepared identifying primary habitat trees. Suggestions to mitigate the impact on the koala population include "fencing design, monitoring, and restriction of dogs".
The planning report also says a "Construction Environment Management Plan" could be used to help protect habitat during the building process.
Previous subdivisions have been recorded at the same address - 76 Hillview Road - but with significantly fewer plots. The last planning permit application for the address dates from 2011.
Previous subdivisions in the neighbourhood have met with some resistance in the community. A council-approved proposal to subdivide land into 110 separate plots on the corner of Springs and Longs Hill Roads was overturned at VCAT in 2006. The area has now been developed.
The Hillview Road location is 5.1 kilometres to the east of the Ballarat CBD and about 1.6km from the Brown Hill neighbourhood shopping, describing the area as "relatively close" to schools and recreational facilities.
Caledonian Primary School is the nearest school for younger children, with Glen Park Primary School slightly further away in the other direction. Woodmans Hill Secondary College is the nearest secondary school to the site.
The Courier has contacted the Gull and Co group requesting further details of the project, including the proposed timeline for its development.
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