Jan 28

Great decisions for 5 Highvista Grove

On Wednesday Jan 25th the council made a decision to deny a permit on this development, and the community should be very happy with this result. The reasons to object were pretty clear and they were elucidated by Garry Wood, Michael Simpson and Erin McCuskey.

So what happens next? The developer has the opportunity to appeal the decision at VCAT, in which case the council as well as the objectors, must represent their objections very clearly. However the developer also has the option to hold a community meeting to come to a better compromise on the development – not many developers choose to do this, which is really unfortunate.

Whatever happens all the objectors will be informed, so if, and when, you hear something please let us know at info@ballarateast.net its incredibly important that we all remain very vigilant.

Soon we will create a information sheet about how to present at council, it can be intimidating however its part of the democratic process, and as such important we get a handle on it.

Here is the summary of the three major issues defined by the objectors, representing the objectors were:

Garry Wood – Spoke articulately on the commercial nature of the venture, the lack of clarity in the application with regard to its definition, its lack of required detail about management (no onsite management of this lodging house), lack of support for the student residents of the boarding house, lack of connection with an education institution, no direct transport links to educational institutions, compared how the City of Stonnington supported student accommodation through planning policy (focusing on high accessibility, good public transport, close to activity centres – etc).

Michael Simpson – Spoke passionately about the over-development of the site, the building over of important vegetation area, the extreme density of the development, the increased light, noise and rubbish pollution, the lack of access for residents to council rubbish collection, the lack of on-site manager to control behaviour and neighbourhood disruption.

Erin McCuskey – Spoke eloquently about the nature of Neighbourhood Character by first defining the current area (quiet, relaxed, green, single residential dwellings on large blocks with extensive native vegetation), she also described the area as the final green belt protecting Canadian State Forest, its environs and the flora and fauna, she then compared it to the development (densely populated, minimal open space confined to decking, the site covered by a bulk of building and car spaces – only once of which is reserved for visitors), she explained the overlays the site needed to consider specifically the vegetation overlay and the environment significance overlay that related to teh award winning City of Ballarat Koala Management Plan, she concluded the development did not respect nor enhance neighbourhood character.

Major discussions of the Councilors were on these three issues and concluded unanimously to deny the permit. But its not over folks, this block will be developed, so lets get in there and help the developer and the city council officers and our Councillors to define what it is about this area that is important, stay vigilant and get your friends, neighbours and families to subscribe here for more news.



  1. Leanne says:

    So pleased to see that our neighbourhood can work together to help preserve what is a very fortunate environment for all who choose to live here. Special thanks to Garry, Michael and Erin for their tireless efforts to alert and inform us and then speak on our behalf at the meeting.

  2. Sofia says:

    Garry, Michael & Erin, thank you very much. You all did a great job at the council meeting. Nothing would have been achieved with out your hard work.

  3. Alice Christie says:

    Well done to all involved great effort and energy. Will stay tuned.

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