THE protracted move of the Ballarat Showgrounds site to Mount Rowan is one step closer to reality with council officers giving the go-ahead to the relocation.
A final decision on the long-mooted move now rests with councillors who are expected to debate and decide on the outcome this evening.
READ MORE: A new look for tired showgrounds
The officers report which has been tabled with the council recommends; "That council resolves to: Issue a Notice of Decision to Grant Planning Permit ... for land located at 6 Rose Hill Road Mount Rowan for use and development of land for a major sports and recreation facility (Ballarat Showgrounds), place of assembly, creation of access to a road zone and display of business identification signage."
The plans for the new Ballarat Showgrounds were released in September and look to transform a 16.2 hectare site at Rosehill Road, Mount Rowan. They have been met with a number of concerns from nearby residents including traffic management, parking and flood plain concerns from nearby residents.
Councillor Grant Tillett said reading over the officers' report, many of those concerns had been addressed, but would defer his support until after the debate this evening.
"The officers report that I've read appear to show they are very careful with the issues of concern," Cr Tillett said.
"Parking is a major problem people in Rosehill Road, I believe that's been dealt with by the proposal, downstream flooding to the property next door is an issue which also seems to have been dealt with.
"The Creswick Road interface is an issue, I haven't seen the VicRoads report on that as yet, but on the assumption VicRoads have come up with an agreement that will work, I suspect it deserves to go through and if there is a challenge to VCAT it will be decided at that level, but I will reserve my judgement until after the debate.
The original proposal includes the retention and integration of the existing equestrian centre, operated by Federation University.
The showgrounds would feature an exhibition centre to cater for functions, shows and events, agricultural/primary industry promotions, training and education and markets, but no more than 50 events in a calendar year are included in the conditions.
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