The City of Ballarat is seeking feedback on the draft Ballarat Growth Areas Framework Plan.

Ballarat Growth Areas Framework Plan

The City of Ballarat has developed a Draft Growth Areas Framework Plan to inform the appropriate sequencing of its future greenfield growth areas.

The future greenfield growth areas include the Western and North Western Growth Areas.

Ballarat is growing rapidly due to its proximity to Melbourne and the many economic, social and cultural opportunities that the area presents. By 2041, the Ballarat municipality will have grown by 55,000 people and the city will need approximately 29,000 more dwellings to accommodate up to 71,000 new residents.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan is a key document which will address the future long-term greenfield growth of the city. It will provide a blueprint for how the city should plan for the roll out of its growth areas, building on the key physical and infrastructure implications for an expanded urban area. The Growth Areas Framework Plan will provide clarity to the community, development industry and stakeholders on the future growth of the City.

  • What is Greenfield development?

    Greenfield development is any kind of real estate development in previously undeveloped areas. The new development can be of any variety of land use—residential, commercial, industrial, or infrastructural


We want to hear from you

The City of Ballarat is now seeking your feedback on the draft Ballarat Growth Areas Framework Plan. Is the plan implementable? Has it responded to the unique identity of Ballarat? There are several ways to provide feedback and learn more. Consultation for the Draft Ballarat Growth Areas Framework Plan will close Friday 31 May 2024.

Find out more

Tech Studies Summary


Summary of Technical Studies

Several technical studies were undertaken to determine infrastructure and community requirements for the Growth Areas Framework Plan area. A high-level summary of this work is below.
  • The Community Infrastructure Assessment analysed community infrastructure needs across the Framework Plan area.
  • A combined need of 56 hectares of unencumbered passive open space is needed to service the demands of the Growth Area Framework Plan.
  • The Western Growth Area should include 52 hectares of active open space.
  • The North Western Growth Area should include 29 hectares of active open space.
  • One indoor recreation centre (with capacity for up to 8 courts under a high development scenario) be established to service the demand generated by the Western and North Western Growth Areas. Ideally, this should be located centrally within the North-Western Growth Area.
  • Depending on the development scenario, there is a need for three to four Level 1 Community Centres, two to three Level 2 Community Centres and one Level 3 Community Centre (which could include a library) to service the demand generated by the Western and North Western Growth Areas. One Level 2 Community Centre should be located in each growth area and should include Neighbourhood House Facilities. The Level 3 Community Centre should be located centrally within the North-Western Growth Area. One of the community centres should perform a youth service role and arts and cultural function.
  • Depending on the development scenario, 24 to 32 sessional kindergarten rooms (4-6 rooms per facility) will need to be included in as many as six Council community centres and supplemented by an additional 6 to 8 rooms at Government Primary / Catholic Primary Schools.
  • Depending on the development scenario, 7 to 9 maternal and child service consulting rooms (2-3 rooms per facility) will need to be included in as many as three Council community centres.
  • There is a need for 7 to 9 Government Primary Schools to service the demand generated by the Western and North Western Growth Areas.
  • There is a need for 2 Government Secondary Schools to service the demand generated by the Western and North Western Growth Areas.
  • Further engagement to determine the need for Government Specialist and Non-Government Schools.
  • Given the projected shortfall in active open space in Ballarat West PSP, it is recommended that Council investigate the feasibility of establishing a 30-hectare regional active open space reserve within the Growth Areas Framework Plan area.
  • It is recommended that Council assess the merits of a smaller regional open space and/or land classified as encumbered open space (but where the site does not require permanent water to be stored).
  • The Surface and Stormwater Management Strategy recommends an approach to manage stormwater runoff (including stormwater quantity management, stormwater quality management and stormwater conveyance) generated from development within the Growth Areas Framework Plan area.
  • An RORB model was computed for the pre and post developed conditions under the 1% AEP flood event which established the required peak flow rates.
  • Based on the above, a retarding basin network was modelled and sized to control the flow back to this rate.
  • A stormwater treatment wetland asset is proposed to be located within the base of each retarding basin to optimise land use and achieve multi-purpose outcomes for encumbered reserves.
  • There are only two small natural wetlands that exist within the Growth Areas Framework Plan area.
  • A network of 30 constructed wetland basins is proposed across the Growth Areas Framework Plan area to treat stormwater along with a number of constructed waterways to convey larger flows.
  • The assets will offer a source of non-potable water while the waterways will be critical natural and community assets into the future.
  • The flows will be retarded to below the pre-developed conditions peak flow rates.
  • The study also recommends extending part of the Western Growth Area western boundary to incorporate the entire waterway reach.
  • An IWM plan was prepared to enable a water sensitive city.
  • An analysis was undertaken to estimate critical elements of the urban water cycle from stormwater and associated pollutants to potable water usage and estimates of sewerage generation.
  • Issues and opportunities were explored for the Ballarat and greenfield context.
  • Based on the above, an IWM plan with outcomes and actions to be followed throughout the planning process was developed. The outcomes included actions at lot, street and precinct level based on:
    • Safe, secure and affordable supplies in an uncertain future
    • Healthy and valued waterways, wetlands and water bodies
    • Healthy and valued landscapes
    • Community values reflected in place-based planning
  • The IWM plan highlighted that the following considerations for future PSP preparation:
    • Masterplanning with water, greening and amenity in mind including co-locating water sources and nodes of water demand, identifying green boulevards, using waterways as ecological corridors and identifying large areas of impermeability
    • Futureproofing by applying smart technologies to IWM assets
    • Engagement and investigation including further discussion with the Traditional Owners and further investigation of ambitious actions
  • The Traffic and Transport Assessment was done to help understand the traffic and transport needs for the Growth Areas Framework Plan areas.
  • One Mile Grid commissioned surveys to understand the existing traffic conditions.
  • The assessment recommends public transport elements to be incorporated into the growth areas:
    • Provision for a future railway station;
    • High-frequency routes along the transit corridors of Ballarat-Carngham Road, Glenelg Highway, Remembrance Drive and the Link Road;
    • Secondary bus routes along adjacent major roads to achieve increased coverage;
    • Provision for bus head start infrastructure at all signalised intersections.
  • The assessment recommends active transport elements to be incorporated into the growth areas:
    • Provision of dedicated off-road bicycle paths along arterial routes, separated from pedestrian facilities;
    • Provision of alternate cycling and shared path facilities for recreation along waterways and reserves. At the time of writing, these features are not yet identified;
    • Retention of the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail and improvement as an active transport connection;
    • Priority crossings for shared paths and bicycle paths at uncontrolled side-road intersections;
    • Signalised pedestrian crossings where signalised intersections are otherwise not provided near major destinations;
  • One Mile Grid also undertook high-level traffic modelling to establish likely changes to traffic volumes and a suitable road network. It is expected that the growth areas will generate 145,000 to 193,000 total vehicle trips per day with 11% of these trips internal to the growth areas.
  • Based on low and high yield scenarios, road upgrades will be required in the Western Growth area along:
    • Finchs Road
    • Cuthberts Road
    • Ballarat-Carngham Road
    • Latrobe Street
    • Wiltshire Lane
    • Greenhalghs Road
    • Bells Road
    • Ross Creek Road
    • Innsbruck Road
    • Dyson Drive
    • Learmouth Street
  • Based on low and high yield scenarios, road upgrades will be required in the North Western Growth area along:
    • Draffins Road
    • Dowling Road
    • Railway Interface Road
    • Remembrance Drive
    • Finchs Road
    • Cuthberts Road
    • Ballarat Link Road
    • Blind Creek Road
    • Smarts Hill Road
    • Skipton Rail Trail Interface Road
  • A high-level traffic network was also prepared.
  • Intersection upgrades would also be required.
  • Taylors undertook an investigation to determine the existing servicing of the Growth Areas Framework Plan area and the ability to service proposed development.
  • Significant upgrades are needed for drinking water across both precincts. Central Highlands Water advised that their existing potable water network is at capacity and cannot support development without significant upgrades to the supply network. Upgrades would also be reliant on the completion of the Ballarat West PSP and Central Highlands Water redundancy works.
  • Central Highlands Water advised that there are no recycled water mains available in the vicinity of the precincts. Upgrades will be required to service the area.
  • Central Highlands Water advised that the existing sewer network is at capacity and cannot support development in both precincts without significant upgrades to the sewer network. Difficult terrain in Precinct 3 and 5 will require several pump stations to service the Growth Area.
  • Powercor advised that electricity upgrades will be required to accommodate the future growth fof both precincts. Powercor plans to construct a new substation in 2025 to service Sebastopol, Delacombe and Alfredton.
  • NBN Co. Advised that extensions of current telecommunications infrastructure is required for both precincts but are subject to significant investment.
  • Due to recent policy changes on the provision of natural gas connections in new residential homes, the growth areas will not be supplied natural gas connections. However, it is yet to be determined if non-residential uses may still require gas.
  • The Infrastructure Servicing Strategy also summarised the Traffic and Transport Assessment, Integrated Water Management Strategy and Surface and Stormwater Management Strategy to determine appropriate sequencing of the precinct. A matrix method was used to consider and rank sequencing based on estimated project costs, project complexity, benefit to broader community, estimated lot yield and estimated cost per lot.
  • The growth areas were divided up into five precincts and ranked accordingly. The recommended sequence is as follows:
    • Central portion of the Western Growth Area (Precinct 2)
    • Southern portion of the Western Growth Area (Precinct 1)
    • Northern portion of the Western Growth Area (Precinct 3)
    • Southern portion of the North-Western Growth Area (Precinct 4)
    • Northern portion of the North-Western Growth Area (Precinct 5)
  • Macroplan undertook a Retail Assessment to provide an assessment of the activity centre needs required.
  • The study considered the growth of e-commerce and its impact within Ballarat where physical stores are deeply integrated into the community and have more focus on fresh food, produce and convenience.
  • Total retail expenditure per person is estimated at $15,682 per annum which is 1.0% above the non-metropolitan Victoria average.
  • Staging considerations were also considered. It was determined that the Western Growth Area (Precinct 2) should be developed first as the area is central to the wider Growth Area and borders main boundaries and Ballarat West PSP.
  • Key findings on activity centre needs are summarised below:

FAQS

FAQS

Got a question? It might already be answered below.

A Growth Areas Framework Plan is a high-level land use and transport plan that provides a strategy for the development of Ballarat’s future greenfield land.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan applies to the Western and North Western growth areas.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan sets up future planning processes including the preparation of Precinct Structure Plans (PSP) which enables planning permit applications for proposed developments.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan outlines a preferred order for PSP preparation through a staging plan, whilst providing flexibility to accommodate future unknown scenarios.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan also includes objectives, actions, preferred land uses and infrastructure requirements that should be followed through as part of future planning processes.

The City of Ballarat is required to plan to accommodate projected population growth over at least a 15-year period across the whole municipality and provide clear direction on locations where growth should occur.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan responds to expected population growth in Ballarat - increase of 57,947 people by 2041, requiring 1448 dwellings per year up to 2041.

By having a plan for future greenfield land supply in place, at a point in time when land supply is required, the City of Ballarat will be able to deliver zoned land supply in accordance with the Growth Areas Framework Plan.

The Western and North Western areas will act as an extension of the existing Ballarat West and Alfredton West PSP residential areas catering for the future greenfield land supply of Ballarat.

The areas will be self-sufficient residential communities with infrastructure to support future community needs.

The Framework Plan areas are within the western section of Ballarat, beyond the existing urban area, extending from the north west to the south west.

Irregular in shape, the Western Growth area includes land in the suburbs of Cardigan, Lucas, Smythes Creek and Bunkers Hill. The overall area is 896 hectares.

Irregular in shape, the North Western Growth area is solely located within the suburb of Cardigan. The overall area is 500 hectares.

For further information please visit https://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/property/ballarat-...

The precinct is owned by private land and/or business owners.

The Western and North Western Growth areas have long been identified as Ballarat’s greenfield investigation areas.

The Ballarat Strategy 2015 identified three greenfield investigation areas (North, West and East).

The Ballarat Long Term Growth Options Investigation Paper 2018 investigated these areas and included an additional area – the North West. It determined that the Northern Growth Area was the preferred located for growth followed by the West and North West.

Ballarat City Council Resolution (23 February 2022) included a report outlining the supply of greenfield land. Council resolved to commence preparation of the Northern Growth Area PSP and to prepare a Growth Areas Framework Plan to establish the appropriate sequencing of PSP preparation for the Western and North Western growth areas.

Once the Growth Areas Framework Plan is finalised, PSP preparation can begin once land supply is required. A Precinct Structure Plan refines the findings of the Growth Areas Framework Plan at a precinct level and responds to the directions of the Growth Areas Framework Plan. A PSP guides the form of subdivision and development. Once approved, planning permit applications for subdivision or development can be submitted to the City of Ballarat for approval. Once approved, construction can begin and Building Permits can be issued to certify that a building complies with the relevant regulations.

Depending on development scenarios, Ballarat currently has between 17 to 24 years of zoned land supply.

It is expected that the next PSP – Western Growth Area will be required to begin preparation between 2029 –2036.

PSP preparation can take up to 5 years. Therefore, additional land supply and development within the Western Growth area will most likely occur between 2033 – 2040.

Whilst these estimates are given, it is important to note that future land supply will only be released once it is needed, and it is impossible for the Growth Areas Framework Plan to precisely predict this.

To assist the City of Ballarat with determining the future staging of the Growth Areas, high level technical studies were undertaken based on expected infrastructure needs. This included water, transport and community infrastructure projects.

Once a PSP and DCP are prepared and finalised, precinct level investigations will be undertaken to identify all of the infrastructure requirements including allocated timing for delivery and costings. Relevant authorities will be consulted as part of this process.

Utility infrastructure will also need to be provided and the technical studies undertaken as part of the Framework Plan found that the areas will be serviceable into the future through developer-led expansions to their networks.

The Development Contributions Plan (DCP) will collect funds from developers to purchase land and to construct the intersections.

The DCP is prepared simultaneously with the PSP.

DCP funds collected by the City of Ballarat as part of future development will be used to support delivery of essential infrastructure in the precinct structure plan. This will also minimise the impact on existing money collected via rates.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan was based on findings from several high level technical studies.

Technical studies undertaken include:

  • Engineering Servicing Strategy
  • Traffic and Transport Strategy
  • Integrated Water Management Strategy
  • Surface and Stormwater Strategy
  • Community Infrastructure Assessment
  • Retail Analysis

The Growth Areas Framework Plan also built on the knowledge and recommendations of the Growth Areas from the Long Term Growth Options Investigation Paper which was undertaken in 2018 and included several desktop planning studies to determine opportunities and constraints.

Based on these findings, opportunities and constraints were identified for the areas. These are reflected in the Growth Areas Framework Plan as development objectives and actions.

Concept Future Urban Structure Plans were also prepared nominating key land use areas based on the infrastructure findings.

Population and land supply analysis was also undertaken to understand when future land supply may be required

Proposed staging for PSP development and sub precincts was then undertaken based on:

  • State and local policy direction
  • Infrastructure needs
  • Estimated infrastructure project costs
  • Infrastructure project complexity
  • Infrastructure project benefit to the wider Ballarat community
  • Estimated yield
  • Estimated cost per hectare
  • Advice from service authorities on the likely sequencing of infrastructure

Development of the draft Growth Areas Framework Plan has included high level technical studies to understand future infrastructure requirements for the Growth Areas. This included communication with local service authorities and providers and State Government Departments.

The plan builds on the Long Term Growth Options Investigation Paper which was completed in 2018. Community feedback was sought through the Discussion Paper which shaped the recommendations of the Paper and the Growth Areas Framework Plan.

The change in the Western and North Western Growth areas will be gradual and is expected to begin to occur in 20-30 years time.

This planning will gradually change the area you live or work in over a long period of time. The precinct will transition from a predominantly farming area to a residential precinct. You may notice changes as new development occurs in addition to significant investment in community infrastructure and new open spaces.

The interruption caused by building and development will only commence once the planning scheme amendment for the future PSPs are gazetted and the planning permit approvals process for development occurs. This work is not expected to commence in the short term.

The final Growth Areas Framework Plan adopted by the City of Ballarat will be used to update the Local Policy section within the Planning Scheme to achieve the desired outcomes and will sit as a background document within the Ballarat Planning Scheme, through a Planning Scheme Amendment process.

The land will be rezoned to Urban Growth Zone (UGZ) as part of the planning scheme amendment for the future PSPs.

For the Growth Areas Framework Plan, a blanket residential land use has been applied to the concept Future Urban Structure Plans. Infrastructure requirements shown in the Plan were based on the technical work undertaken as part of the Growth Areas Framework Plan.

The Plans are only intended to show the potential combination of land uses and infrastructure requirements . The plans do not represent a final or preferred urban structure for the precincts. Future PSPs will build on the work undertaken as part of the Growth Areas Framework Plan.

A high level analysis of existing greenfield land supply was undertaken as part of the Growth Areas Framework Plan. Assumptions were based on the SGS Ballarat Future Housing Needs Analysis which identified an increase of 57,000 people and demand for 28,691 dwellings by 2041.

The expected number of dwellings required per year was calculated to be 1,448. This was then further broken down based on two scenarios (50:50 split between greenfield and infill and a 70:30 split), to determine how many greenfield dwellings would be required to cater for growth.

These scenarios determined that there is between 17.3 to 24.3 years of existing zoned greenfield land supply.

Whilst it is impossible to determine the exact number of future dwellings that will be delivered by greenfield areas, this analysis gives City of Ballarat and the community a high level understanding.

City of Ballarat will also continue to monitor land supply in its existing greenfield areas and determine whether to bring forward PSP preparation.

It is common for council to need to acquire land as part of new development to meet the needs of a new or existing community. Land acquisition is used to reserve land, assist in delivery of new or upgrades to essential infrastructure and to improve public safety.

For example, land required for flood management, conservation and to build infrastructure (i.e. new roads and intersections) is often acquired by local governments to ensure that these projects can be delivered and be managed by the City of Ballarat into the future.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan does not determine future land that may be compulsorily acquired. Future PSPs will determine this.

The commencement of PSPs in Ballarat will be undertaken in the following sequence:

  • Western Growth Area
  • North Western Growth Area

The need to commence a PSP will be based on ongoing greenfield land supply monitoring.

In the short term, no rezoning or PSP development should occur. In the medium term once land supply is required, commence structure planning of the Western Growth Area. In the long term, once land supply is required, commence structure planning of the North Western Growth Area.

Ballarat’s growth areas will be planned and developed in an orderly sequence of medium and long-term precincts with recommended staging of sub precincts.

Sequencing of residential development is required to ensure success in Ballarat’s new neighbourhoods. It also benefits the city’s broader community and economy.

The City of Ballarat is staging the delivery of these large areas of residential growth to ensure that the developments can be aligned to environmental principles, and the planning of future community infrastructure that will support these well planned and sustainable communities.

A Development Staging Plan has been prepared to represent the City of Ballarat's preferred direction for future growth through the development of PSP’s and sub precinct sequencing. The Development Staging Plan is based on:

  • State and local policy direction
  • Infrastructure needs
  • Estimated infrastructure project costs
  • Infrastructure project complexity
  • Infrastructure project benefit to the wider Ballarat community
  • Estimated yield
  • Estimated cost per ha
  • Advice from Service Authorities on the likely sequencing of infrastructure

Anyone can make a formal written submission and provide feedback on the sequencing approach during the public consultation process. The City of Ballarat will review all submissions to address concerns wherever possible.

Once the Growth Areas Framework Plan is finalised, the preferred sequencing will be formally documented.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan also includes a set of criteria to determine whether development departing from the recommended sequencing should proceed.

This was included to allow for flexibility in the Framework Plan considering that it cannot predict all future scenarios.

Current investigations recommended upgrades to Remembrance Drive because of the growth in both the Western and North Western Growth Areas. The City of Ballarat is not supportive of this recommendation, especially where it may impact important historical street trees as part of the Avenue of Honour. The Framework Plan includes an action for an alternative solution to be investigated as part of the PSP process including further modelling on Cuthberts Road and Wiggins Road/Airport Road.

Housing affects all residents and our housing needs change as we move through different stages of life. Ensuring there is a variety of housing types, and an adequate supply of housing will enable our neighbourhoods to meet our community’s needs throughout all stages of life.

Introducing additional greenfield areas to provide housing supply also changes the physical size and makeup of the city. Ensuring that the amenity and character of Ballarat remains will enable positive and successful future communities.

It is important that residents have a say in how housing and growth in the Ballarat is managed.

The City of Ballarat’s MySay website includes a section dedicated to consultation on the draft Growth Areas Framework Plan.

This page provides:

  • Background information to the preparation of the draft Growth Areas Framework Plan;
  • Details of several sessions, being offered by the City of Ballarat during the current consultation period;
  • Access to the draft Growth Areas Framework Plan; and
  • Advice on how to provide written feedback.

The City of Ballarat is receiving feedback on the draft Growth Areas Framework Plan until 11:59pm Friday 31st May 2024.

After the consultation period ends, the City of Ballarat officers will formally review and consider all submissions received. During this time, submitters may be contacted to further discuss their submissions and any changes sought.

Following this review, any changes will be made to the Growth Areas Framework Plan prior to the document being finalised.

An officer report will be presented to a future Council Meeting which will summarise and consider the written feedback received.

Ballarat City Council will then consider this feedback and any recommended changes, when deciding whether or not to adopt the final Growth Areas Framework Plan.

The final Growth Areas Framework Plan, if adopted by Council will be used to update the Planning Scheme to achieve the desired outcomes and will sit as a background document within the Ballarat Planning Scheme, through a Planning Scheme Amendment process.

There will be future opportunities to have your say on the Growth Areas Framework Plan during the Exhibition process that occurs as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment.

There will also be an opportunity to make comment on the future PSPs once prepared.

You can call the project team at any time during business hours, Monday to Friday 9 – 5pm on 03 5330 4133 (Fiona KoutsivosPrincipal Planner). You can also email the team via fionakoutsivos@ballarat.vic.gov.au

Glossary

Glossary

See below for a glossary of terms

A background document provides information to assist in understanding the context within which a particular policy or provision has been framed.

The Growth Areas Framework Plan is proposed to become a background document within the Ballarat Planning Scheme.

A development contributions plan (DCP) establishes a framework for developers to make a financial contribution towards the cost of key infrastructure projects, providing certainty for the future community around infrastructure timing, funding and delivery.

Together, the PSP and DCP will provide a broad framework that will coordinate development and assist in the transition of the area from its current farming land and rural character into an urban residential expansion area for Ballarat.

A Development Staging Plan outlines the preferred order for PSP preparation and sub precincts.

During the Planning Scheme Amendment process, an amendment is made publicly available to view. During this time, the community can make submissions about the proposal.

The Farming Zone is predominantly applied to land with a focus on protecting and promoting farming and agriculture.

This is the key plan that provides the overall direction on the location of future land uses, major transport networks, open space and activity centres within the precinct structure plan (PSP).

After a planning authority has adopted an amendment, the amendment is submitted to the Minister for Planning for consideration and decision.

An amendment becomes part of the planning scheme when it is approved and notice is published in the Victoria Government Gazette.

Greenfield land is land previously undeveloped and is typically agricultural or rural in nature on the edge of a town. It transitions into residential or other urban uses.

The draft Growth Areas Framework Plan identifies that there is adequate greenfield land to support residential development and population growth.

Infill land describes redevelopment within established urban areas.

A planning scheme is a document approved by the Victorian Government which outlines objectives, policies and controls for the use, development and protection of land for each municipality across Victoria. A planning scheme controls land use and development within a municipal district.

Changes to the planning scheme are called amendments and the process is set out in the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act). An amendment may involve a change to a planning scheme map (for example: a rezoning of land), a change to the written part of the scheme, or both and needs to be approved by the Minister for Planning.

The precinct structure plan (PSP) is a long-term plan for urban development. It describes how the land is expected to be developed, and how and where services and infrastructure are planned to support the development of new communities. 

Sequencing enables development to occur in a preferred, logical direction to ensure that infrastructure can be provided to support future communities.

The UGZ applies to land that has been identified for future urban development. The UGZ:

  • manages the transition of non-urban land into urban land.
  • encourages the development of well-planned and well-serviced new urban communities, generally in accordance with a precinct structure plan.
  • reduces the number of development approvals needed in areas where a precinct structure plan is approved.
  • safeguards non-urban land from use and development that could prejudice its future urban development.