Application for planning permission for the development of a 119-room hotel in Warrenheip | The mail


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A new 119-room hotel could be built at the entrance to Ballarat, but could cause traffic problems with guests expected to use country roads to access the property. A planning permission application for the large development at 63 Mahers Road, Warrenheip has been lodged with the City of Ballarat by developer Forte Group with plans including a two storey hotel building with a function and reception area , a courtyard and a swimming pool in its center and a car park with 171 spaces. WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR OPINION AT THE BOTTOM OF HISTORY The property faces the West Freeway and falls under the Woodmans Hill Gateway Precinct Master Plan which intends to guide the development of the eastern entrance to the town, but has been identified in the plan to be conserved as agricultural land in the area. The hotel is proposed to sit in the middle of the property with landscape plans showing the property facing the western highway, with an orchard proposed to be planted along the highway frontage with a distillery on-site gin and an olive orchard. As there is no direct motorway access, vehicles are suggested to use Mahers Road or unsealed Greene Road to access the property, as the hotel’s main entrance can be accessed via Greene Road. According to the app’s traffic report, vehicles traveling from Melbourne via the Western Highway should use Greene Road to access the site while vehicles traveling from Ballarat should use Old Melbourne Road and Mahers Road. Departing vehicles should use both roads to leave the property, those traveling east towards Melbourne should turn right from Old Melbourne Road or turn around onto the Western Highway at Brewery Tap Road. The traffic report states that “the level of traffic generated as a result of this proposal will be adequately supported by the proposed site access connections and the surrounding road network and intersections without any unacceptable impact”. As the development is expected to create additional traffic along both roads, the application documents indicate that a number of improvements will be required to the road network, including a left turn lane at the Western Highway-Greene Road intersection, sealing and widening of Greene Road. , gravel crossing areas on Greene Road and Mahers Road. However, while 63 Mahers Road is in the city of Ballarat, it is right on the council boundary with Greene Road under the jurisdiction of Moorabool Shire Council. IN OTHER NEWS: International hospitality company IHG has signed on to manage the hotel, which will operate as the Holiday Inn and Suites Ballarat Goldfields. Forte Group project manager Mark Huang said the Thomastown-based developer had been in close contact with the council regarding zoning and road access. “I believe the adjoining use is actually a mixed use area and it’s within the gateway compound and that has been identified for development and we just see that as an opportunity to invest in the area” , did he declare. “We think there is an opportunity here and even though it is an agricultural area, we have hired agricultural consultants to survey the land and we have incorporated some agricultural use into our plans as well. ” Mr Huang said Forte Group was in talks about a potential Greene Road upgrade, but could not confirm at this stage whether the works were the responsibility of the developer, the council or VicRoads. “One of the recommendations from our traffic engineers is to upgrade Greene Road. As developers, we want our hotel product to be an enjoyable experience, of course,” he said. “The feeling of arriving at a hotel is very important and Greene Road being the main access route, an upgrade that would improve the overall guest experience. This is one of our recommended actions to upgrade level to Greene Road.” Ballarat City Chief Executive Evan King said while the council was in the early stages of assessing the application, conversations would be held with Moorabool regarding the development and Greene Road. “Usually road changes for planning permission become the developer’s responsibility ultimately,” he said. “That’s not necessarily a problem, it just means the developer has to speak to Moorabool as well. We can put conditions on the planning permissions depending on the requirements, it doesn’t matter if that road is in another county, we can always put conditions on the planning permit that require these things to be done.” “When the planning department assesses it, they will look at all of these components and then determine who needs the planning permission which is returned to them for comment.” If you see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we have made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you so much for your support and for allowing us to continue to tell the story of Ballarat. We appreciate your support for journalism in our great city.




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