The Ballarat Strategy (July, 2015) identifies three ‘Greenfield Investigation Areas’ (GIAs) for further investigation to determine their suitability to accommodate Ballarat’s long term growth, beyond the year 2040. The Ballarat Strategy identified the importance of strategically assessing the next phase of greenfield development to occur in Ballarat, after Ballarat West.
The Ballarat Long Term Growth Options Investigation provided a feasibility study to determine which (if any) of the three GIAs had the ability to accommodate future residential development. The project investigated the environmental, economic, physical and community infrastructure constraints and opportunities of each of the three GIAs.
Currently at Stage 4
The three Greenfield Investigation Areas are located to the east, west and north of Ballarat CBD, as shown in the map below. The GIAs are not currently zoned for urban uses, and have been assessed in terms of their feasibility for future greenfield development.
Background analysis has been prepared by the project team, which included landowner and stakeholder consultation events were held in Ballarat between 11th to 13th May, 2015. This consultation provided important input into the preparation of the detailed draft report.
In terms of the three GIAs, the investigation recommended that the Northern GIA is the next logical growth front for Ballarat. The findings and associated recommendations for each of the GIA’s is included below.
The Northern GIA is recommended to constitute a longer term second growth front for Ballarat, but only to be facilitated at an appropriate time frame when it is specifically needed, based on development and land supply projections.
Additionally, extensive preparatory strategic planning work is needed to facilitate the Northern GIA to ensure it is holistically planned. To facilitate development in the Northern GIA, this work would be required to be undertaken and completed prior to any the rezoning of the land.
The Western GIA is recommended to constitute a logical long term growth option for Ballarat due to its location immediately adjacent to the Ballarat West Growth Area. However, no specific time frame is placed on its development; rather it would only be facilitated for development once the development within the current Ballarat West Growth Area is nearing full completion.
In practical terms this may occur after development within the Northern GIA, particularly as the Northern GIA is anticipated to be able to begin while Ballarat West is still being constructed.
The Eastern GIA is the least preferred of the three investigation areas based on the detailed analysis of the range of physical constraints. Due to a range of environmental constraints, servicing constraints and land fragmentation issues, it is not recommended for development at this time.
Less constrained parts of the Eastern GIA could potentially be developed in the future, however this would only be strategically justified if a commuter train station is re-established at Warrenheip. In the medium term, there is a potential for the minimum lot size to be reduced in less constrained areas of the GIA.
What Happens Next?
Once feedback has been considered, the Investigation will be presented to Council for consideration. An amendment to the Ballarat Planning Scheme will ensure the findings of the Investigation are given the appropriate statutory weight in guiding future land use and development decisions.