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Exciting changes ahead

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Photo - Helen Tatchell
Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Jessica Howard

Moorabool Shire mayor Paul Tatchell is excited about stage one of Ballan’s streetscape works.

While the development of the plan for central Inglis Street (between Cowie and Stead Streets) has experienced some delays, scheduled works officially commenced on Wednesday (February 4).

The project will see the full replacement of both footpaths between Fisken and Stead Streets, additional car parking in Inglis Street, new street furniture and new trees and landscaping.

“These improvement works are the best thing to happen to Ballan in 25-years,” Mr Tatchell said.

“The plan was designed through a collaboration between council, traders and the community, meaning it was designed by a group of people that are passionate about Ballan”.

During a community drop-in evening in November 2016, community members and traders confirmed that the preferences for streetscape elements, such as footpath materials, street plantings and street furniture, were suitably reflected on the preliminary plans informed by an earlier consultation.

Mr Tatchell said by updating the streetscape, Ballan was establishing itself as an economically vibrant town.

“It shows that those involved in this collaboration strongly believe in the importance of our town’s presentation,” he said.  

“Ballan is fast becoming a poster child for de-centralisation, and you don’t get two goes at a first impression, so we need to put our best foot forward.

“For peri-urban regions, de-centralisation means those living in inner city areas are becoming aware of the high price of real estate and as a result, are choosing to move out to the peri-urban and rural areas.

“However, in saying that, the de-centralisation of a town doesn’t take away the soul of the village. Those that choose to move into rural areas are getting the same services, but they are getting something else that they wouldn’t otherwise get; and that is community spirit”.

Stage One of the streetscape plan will run from mid-February to early June, meaning there will be some disruption in the street.

Cr. Tatchell apologised in advance for the disruption and said Council will be working very closely with traders to ensure any impact is kept to a minimum.

All works will cease during the upcoming Ballan Autumn Festival, to be held on Sunday March 18.

“I’m very excited about the future,” Mr Tatchell said.

“This development is not one person’s vision, it’s everybody’s vision, and I can’t wait to see it at its completion”.

STAGE ONE WORKS:
– Replacement and widening of existing concrete footpaths with asphalt footpaths
– Replacement of existing concrete vehicle crossings with asphalt vehicle crossings
– Replacement of existing brick paving and concrete hardstand surfaces with sawn bluestone paving
– New street furniture
– New garden beds and additional street tree planting
– Drainage improvements
– Improvements to pedestrian safety, accessibility and connectivity
– Improvements to on-street parking, including a nett gain of six bays
– Installation of electrical conduits and pits to facilitate possible future underground power supply