For Sale Ballarat East
What you need to know…
If you are buying property in Ballarat East – do your homework… here is a head-start (this is advice from residents and doesn’t replace your need to get proper legal advice on any or all of the secrets we are about the reveal…)
There are a few issues that you’ll need to be aware of:
- Neighbourhood Character
- Mine-Shafts, and
- On the Positive Side
Neighbourhood Character is enshrined in State and Local Planning Schemes, so what exactly is it? When Council officers receive permit applications, they conduct some research into the area and surrounds of the area the permit is connected to. Their notes are included in the report on the permit application as Neighbourhood Character. Every neighbourhood has a character, a look, a feel, a vibe that can be described in words and images, and it’s not about someone’s subjective idea of beauty. And Ballarat East can only be described as having loads of character.
Some of that character in Ballarat East can be described as green, lots of vegetation, diverse housing, each street is unique, meandering roads, chaotic designs, miners cottages, industry, lots of sheds in lots of big backyards, rural areas, older street-scapes, native vegetation, evident history, lots of wildlife, boulevards, dirt tracks, no footpaths in semi-rural areas, limited infrastructure etc etc. Different areas of Ballarat East have their own character however one thing is certain, this area is unlike any other and needs to be protected. Residents of Ballarat East have had a lot of success working with developers to ensure good sustainable development, and where developers refuse to negotiate, we have had a lot of success working with our Planning Department and where necessary at VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal).
Our historic, current and evolving character is very important to residents and we will work hard to protect it, our environment and our community. We are very concerned about how our neighbourhoods will look in five year, ten years, twenty years. Geoffrey London the State Government Architect said that good design is design that fits, design you couldn’t imagine fitting anywhere else. So how does that fit here in Ballarat East? We expect good design, good sustainable design and developers who will work with us. If you are buying property in Ballarat East you need to be aware of this. Consider the neighbourhood character of the area you intend to buy in, how can you compliment, enhance, and how can you work with current residents. Talk with us, we don’t bite… often.
There are many stands of native trees in Ballarat East – all shapes and sizes, fitting in and adding to the character of the area. They provide shade, shelter for wildlife/birds. They transpire to give us oxygen and water vapour (which helps to keep temperatures down) etc while removing carbon dioxide. Significant stands are part of the Ballarat City Council’s koala overlay providing both food and shelter for the diminishing populations of koalas. Kookaburras and other native birds have their territories in the area also because of the native vegetation. The trees and other vegetation in the area are predominantly native which means that they are established (don’t need much water, if any), suit our climate and encourage habitats for native flora and fauna. Current residents have as a general rule developed over many years of living together, to maintain as many trees as possible and designing our homes to complement what is already here because we value and enjoy what we have. We enhance by planting more trees in our front yards and backyards and care the the trees in public spaces. If you intend to buy or live in Ballarat East you will need to be aware of the importance of trees to our residents.
Ballarat East as one of the older suburbs in Ballarat is impacted by many Overlays and local government strategies which impact on what you can build where, such as the:
- Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) the purpose of which is to protect areas of significant vegetation, to ensure development minimises loss of vegetation as well to maintain and enhance habitat corridors,
- Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) which is in place to identify areas where the development of land may be affected by environmental constraints and to ensure development is compatible with identified environmental values,
- Heritage Overlay which is in place to conserve and enhance heritage places of natural and cultural significance and to ensure development does not adversely affect the significance of heritage places,
- the Ballarat Open Space Strategy (BOSS) states that “Environmental values are very important in this precinct” and “this precinct should be protected and enhanced”,
- the Municipal Strategic Statement outlines the LINCS Strategy 1995, a vision of “green spokes radiating out from the urban hub of Ballarat: a network of linear parks along our waterways, roadsides and former rail lines to provide recreational opportunities and important corridors for wildlife and to link public reserves and open space”.
The property you are considering buying may be affected by any or all of these overlays, make sure you find out which ones BEFORE you buy property in Ballarat East. All info about Overlays is available by talking with the Council Planning Officers at City of Ballarat Planning Dept or by calling them on 03 5320 5650
Ballarat East showcases Ballarat’s natural history and is characterised by its undulating landscape which creates many natural waterways. Waterways do not follow planning decisions, planning decisions must respect waterways to ensure good sustainable development. Although Ballarat has been in drought for 10 years, waterways do not go away. While some of the waterways have been enhanced and developed into open space providing valuable pedestrian links and wildlife corridors, other waterways have unfortunately been built on and over by unknowing or uncaring developers. The result for potential residents and new buyers can be quite costly as you face potential flooding, rising damp and other impacts of building over natural waterways. Th cost for the long-term future of Ballarat cannot yet be calculated. An international visitor on a brief trip to Ballarat East could obtain a comprehensive ‘snapshot’ of southern Australia. Once this valuable asset is gone we can’t get it back, Ballarat needs to preserve its uniqueness for residents, the Ballarat Community and visitors. So make sure you are aware of issues on the Ballarat East Property you intend to buy, be proactive, be aware.
Ballarat East is an old suburb borne of the Gold Rush, and The Digs, and covered with mine shafts – known and unknown. These old mine shafts open up regularly without warning in back yards, under buildings and on nature strips. They are difficult to close and can become very expensive. They are dangerous too. Someone fell down one just the other day prompting a warning from experts that there are hundreds of documented shafts in Ballarat and many more undocumented. Many of the deep mine-shafts were “capped” with a wooden platform at about 2 meters and covered with dirt, a ticking time-bomb of rotten wood today! If you want to see how prevalent the old shafts are take a walk in the Canadian Forest and remember that the only difference to current housing blocks and stock is that the trees have been cut down to build homes. Trees can secure the shafts, however when they are gone there is not much holding the ‘cap’ in place. If you are thinking of buying or building in Ballarat East make sure you get an official soil test over several areas of the block and check for tell tale signs of diggings like fine quartz rock, unusual depressions in the ground and old artifacts. Also check old mine maps. Remember that someone who wants to sell you a block of land is not likely to tell you if there is an old mineshaft in the middle of it. Don’t get caught like they did.
ON THE POSITIVE
There are so many positive things to do if you are thinking of joining the East community… Stand back and REALLY look, don’t come to develop, sell and strip this community of its beauty, come to build your home and your future with we fabulous easties…
- FEEL & ABSORB – the East’s magic, read up some history, check out old photographs at the library or at the historical society’s website,
- ASK – talk to neighbours you might see in their gardens, find out what the East is to them and how long they’ve been here,
- DISCOVER – the many secret views of forest, distant cityscape, paddocks and sheds, Sovereign Hill, Black Hill, or just space and air to breathe,
- WALK – the special creek paths, or around the Eureka site, and follow some of the back lanes,
- OBSERVE – the diverse housing styles, and the eccentric street lines (you’re walking on history) and look out for the bird life, and sometimes koalas, and the interesting street trees and important native trees and habitat in the parks and paddocks,
- LISTEN – for the frogs, the many birds, for the freight trains, for the whistle at Sovereign Hill,
- ENJOY – the sports grounds from the Eastern Oval to Llanberris to Sparrow Ground and Pax Hill, not to mention Eureka Pool,
- DELIGHT – in having found a place to live that is genuinely unique and come to understand why it is so important to us all.
We want you here, and we want you to love and care for this fabulous place called Ballarat East…