Resi Ventures buys up big – and deep – in plans for Miners Rest

Shae Hussey News


We look forward to working with Resi Ventures, a long time and respected client of Beveridge Williams', to assist them with their planning needs to gain Council approval for their exciting new project.

The following article featured in Ballarat's local newspaper, The Courier this week:

Melbourne developer Resi Ventures has purchased 67 hectares (166 acres) bounded by Victoria Street and Cummins Road, to the east of the Central Victorian Livestock Exchange and just behind the existing supermarket on Howe Street.

Resi Ventures director Khurram Saeed told The Courier the company hopes to develop the land into 500 residential lots combined with integrated commercial and mixed-use zone land.

He said the site is already divided into two planning properties with the first, 1 to 11 Victoria Street, comprising 32 parcels, currently before the City of Ballarat for a 70-home permit application.

The majority of those were for home sites of 700 square metres; however Mr Saeed said the block sizes would need to be reconsidered in light of making them affordable.

He said he hoped to keep them near 500 square metres, as he thought many metro developments had too small a houseblock footprint. "We always have to balance size versus affordability," Mr Saeed said, "but of course I want to see people have even a small backyard."

Mr Saeed said the company had engaged planning consultants Beveridge Williams to represent them in having the rest of the land rezoned by council, which he hoped to have under development in the next couple of years.

The site, locally known as the 'Miners Rest Dam', was once a basalt quarry and underwent extensive rehabilitation in 2017 following the cessation of works. The land was most recently owned by Ballarat recyclers Sharon and Kevin Clark.

According to a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) report, the proposed development zone is an 'area of cultural heritage sensitivity'.

'Areas of cultural heritage sensitivity' are defined under the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018, and include registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places and land form types that are generally regarded as more likely to contain Aboriginal cultural heritage, DELWP says.

Parts of the land are also subject to floodways and inundation from the Burrumbeet Creek. Mr Saeed said the company hoped to put aside 40 per cent of the site as open space, although that would include the existing dams. There are heritage, environmental, erosion and bushfire designations on the site as well.

Mr Saeed was critical of the state government's taxes and duties on land development, saying they imperiled building growth in Victoria's regions.

He said the so-called 'windfall gains tax', which was introduced by the Andrews government in its latest budget, meant the project almost fell over.

"In its current form the windfall tax will drive the price of land in Ballarat and other regional areas much closer to prices in outer metropolitan Melbourne," he said.

"Like all land developers we will be forced to pass on the additional costs to purchasers. We believe the additional price hike to each lot, if a windfall tax is introduced, will be a disincentive for people looking to relocate from metro Melbourne."

The government says the new tax on land profits will return an estimated $40 million a year, 'ensuring gains are shared with the community and invested in public transport, schools and other vital infrastructure.'

Source: The Courier, Ballarat