Friends of Sparrow Ground
Friends of Sparrow Ground – This is a private resident group at work in Ballarat East supporting the development of walking paths and good urban design. Contact the City of Ballarat on 5320 5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
425 Richards St: This subdividion proposal for 18 lots first objected to in August 2009, was
subsequently subject to VCAT order P3436/2009 dated 9 August 2010 and reduced the lots to 12
so as to maintain local character and placed 21 trees under the protection of the Koala plan plus an
easement to Scentbark Lane. VCAT Member Martin’s findings positively influenced the following two
421 Richards St: This subdivision plan was proposed as a mirror image to that of 425 Richards St
including an easement for a walkway. The Friends of Sparrow Ground’s initial objection was on
the 19 October 2011. The grounds were 1) inadequate drainage, 2) lack of a walkway easement
to Scentbark Lane. Prior to the subdivision proposal the Friends prepared a 60 page report on the unnamed tributary of Pennyweight Gully, which flows through the property. The report covered
improper drainage solutions in place, the loss of the creek path, flooding issues and proposed some
The City of Ballarat (COB) issued a permit with the easement withdrawn from the plan.
The Friends of Sparrow Ground (not opposed by the developers representative) initiated VCAT
proceedings against the Council and in subsequent discussions with the Council, the COB drainage
engineers issued assurances that the improper drainage solutions in place would be resolved as
part of the completion of the subdivision so as to allow full access to Scentbark Lane. The VCAT
proceedings were withdrawn and the subdivision is free to occur including the easement. Note
whilst there are not yet any engineering works on the site, the flooding solutions for this property
are quite complex.
409 Richards St This subdivision proposal is similar to those of 421 and 425 Richards St. The Friends
of Sparrow Ground’s initial objection was also on the 19 October 2011. The grounds were 1)
inadequate drainage, 2) lack of a walkway easement to Scentbark Lane.
The COB’s response was a mirror image of 421 Richards St in issuing a permit requiring the easement
to be withdrawn fro the plan.
The Friends of Sparrow Ground (with the support of the developers representative) initiated VCAT
proceedings against the Council. Subsequent discussions with the Council, the Friends and the
developer saw the COB planners withdraw their permit requirement to remove the easement
for the walkway and added clear-view fencing at the developers request. Clear-view is see through
fencing designed to reduce lane-way blind spots for pedestrian safety reasons.
The agreement between the COB, the Friends of Sparrow Ground and the developer is subject to the
VCAT order P2250 – 2012.
The three properties above represent the best attempts available within the limitations of the
relevant planning schemes to get livable development with good linkages to lane-ways, waterways
and open space and leaving the opportunity open for future bike paths and flora enhancement etc.
In each case VCAT was a positive influence.