Development in the west of Ballarat looks set to continue at pace this year, with a proposed new 306-lot subdivision now sitting with council planners.
Plans for the site on Tait Street in Bonshaw have not yet been advertised on the council's planning website but are now registered with the state authorities.
It lies within an existing growth zone that has seen some of the most rapid expansion in the city in recent years.
The proposed site includes a development contributions plan overlay, which means that new buildings would be subject to financial levies to develop infrastructure for future residents.
If approved, the subdivision would happen in stages on the area just to the north of Clydesdale Drive, with the site also crossing Bonshaw Creek.
A City of Ballarat spokesperson confirmed receipt of the planning application, describing it as a "very standard residential subdivision of land in the Ballarat west growth area".
There have been a number of previous subdivisions nearby, including on Tait Street, Carngham Road and Greenhalghs Road. Council has also received applications for 500 to 600 lot subdivisions in the past five years.
The site lies within the Ballarat West Urban Growth area, which according to recent council documents is growing more rapidly than any other area in the city.
There have been around 900 new houses built in Ballarat annually since 2010. The current growth rate in Ballarat West is around 520 new dwellings each year, which means the area accounts for almost 58 per cent of new housing stock in the city.
Demand in the area has remained strong in recent years, with prices also increasing over the steadily for new houses in the zone.
Recently, estate agents have reported a slight plateau-ing in prices in some parts of the growth zone, although the trend is still upwards.
With substantial land still available for development in the area, supply will meet demand in the short term. One estate agent told The Courier earlier this week that property prices were rising more sharply in existing urban areas of the city such as Ballarat Central and Soldiers Hill where there is less scope for new development.
Check prices in Ballarat suburbs with our interactive graphic
At the current rate growth, Ballarat West would be fully developed in around 12 years, council documents suggest.
However, an officer report from last October suggested available land could dry up as soon as 2024/ 25 due to fragmented ownership in the area.
Under state planning policy, the council is required to have 15 years' supply of housing land across the entire municipality. Officers have advised councillors that planning for a new growth area would need to begin by 2021. In October, councillors voted to approve two new suggested growth zones in Ballarat - one in the area north of the Western Freeway around Mount Rowan, and one further to the west of the existing growth area.
The rezoning of greenfield land is unlikely to occur until the local housing market needs more supply - and to avoid competition with Ballarat West.
No details of the developer for the Bonshaw site are included in any publicly available documents, although the plans were submitted by the TGM Group, an engineering and town planning company which has an office in Ballarat.
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