Environmentally Sustainable future for planning applications

Generic image of aerial of Ballarat

At Ballarat City Council’s regular March meeting, Council resolved to provide the City of Ballarat with a consistent approach to assessing Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) for new planning applications. 

This policy will provide greater clarity and guidance associated with the Ballarat Planning Scheme.  

The thresholds will be required for new residential developments, as well as non-residential developments, such as commercial buildings.  

The ESD will deliver on clause 15.01-2S of the Ballarat Planning Scheme which seeks ‘to achieve building design and siting outcomes that contribute positively to the local context, enhance the public realm and support environmentally sustainable development.’ 

Concurrently the City of Ballarat is working with the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Council Alliance for Sustainable Built Environment with 31 other local governments to introduce a Planning Scheme Amendment to incorporate an ESD provision into the planning schemes.   

A variety of assessment tools will be taken into consideration when assessing environmentally sustainable development, such as Green Star ratings, Built Environment Sustainability Scorecards and STORM reports.  

Based on the 800 planning applications received over the last year, 148 of these applications would have been required to provide some form of ESD treatment if the policy was in place at the time.  

An environmentally sustainable future is goal number one of the Council Plan 2021-2025 and the ESD policy will assist to deliver on this goal.  

City of Ballarat Cr Belinda Coates said the policy will assist Council to contribute to an environmentally sustainable future.  

“It is an important policy to ensure good quality housing and buildings that are more sustainable and efficient, not only reducing emissions, but making developments more liveable for residents,” she said.  

Information and workshops will continue to roll out across the development and construction industries within Ballarat in order to ensure the wider community is aware of the process.