Planning the future of social and affordable housing in Delacombe
We know that the Ballarat community needs more high-quality social and affordable housing. This is an opportunity to transform the Leawarra neighbourhood into a vibrant, family friendly and well-connected community to address this need.
We have prepared a draft masterplan that outlines the vision, directions and proposed key changes for the Leawarra neighbourhood from our consultation process to date.
This masterplan will:
- create more than 150 new homes in Delacombe
- include a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom dwellings
- deliver energy efficient and environmentally sustainable homes with large communal green spaces
- transform the neighbourhood, with increased public open space and improved connections
Engagement so far
In late 2019 and early 2020, we asked residents and community members for their feedback to help develop our draft masterplan plan.
Participants agreed that the area is well located, but that road, pedestrian networks and public open spaces need to be improved.
They told us the area feels unsafe. Most of our social housing renters agreed their housing could be improved to better meet their needs.
- 84% of participants supported providing a mix of public and private housing to support greater social cohesion
- 90% supported new housing coming in a range of sizes
- Currently, 90% of the Leawarra neighbourhood is social housing, some of which needs upgrading and doesn’t fit with people’s needs
- Existing homes are difficult and expensive to heat and cool
- 92% of participants supported public space investment
- Over 75% agreed public and open spaces weren’t well used and felt unsafe, particularly Leawarra Reserve
- They also told us private open spaces were poorly maintained
- More than half of the participants agreed that backyards were large and needed a lot of maintenance
- We also heard that roadside nature strip landscaping was poor
- Participants said the Leawarra Crescent road network has poor connection to surrounding areas
- They also told us that roads in the neighbourhood felt unsafe due to speeding cars, which was not good for walking and cycling
- We’ve also heard that the road layout is confusing, and that public bus services are infrequent
- 72% of people interviewed told us services and facilities in the area were difficult to access because of poor transport connections, and there was little known about the services and facilities available nearby
How to get involved
We recently asked people in the Delacombe and Ballarat community for their feedback to help us plan for the future of social and affordable housing.
We asked them their thoughts about proposed improvements to the neighbourhood, including housing, connections and public spaces, and how best to keep them informed.
Our online survey was open from 29 July until 11:59pm on 2 September 2021. During this period, we also held 2 webinars. You can still explore the draft masterplan below.
Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback.
We’ll consider your feedback as we finalise the masterplan in late 2021. We’ll let you know how your feedback has influenced the plan in our engagement report.
With this overarching masterplan, the team will then work through detailed design, planning application, and construction is planned from 2022.
Communication with the community will continue at each step of the project.
The outcomes proposed by the masterplan will require partnership with council to improve the public areas, and with service providers to support needs in the area. Partnerships with the private sector will also be considered.
Making a better neighbourhood
Transform the neighbourhood into a well-connected and welcoming place with great open spaces, and a mix of social and affordable homes in a range of sizes to suit a diverse community.
- Provide a mix of social, affordable and private housing in Delacombe
- Create better connections within the area and with the surrounding community and its social facilities
- Explore opportunities for more social and affordable housing in Ballarat
- New housing should come in a range of sizes to meet people’s needs better
- Invest in public spaces, including parks and streets
- Deliver new well-designed housing to welcome new residents
- Diversify housing to include a mix of social, affordable and private homes in a range of sizes
- Create 3 new western connections (roads and shared trails) to better integrate the area with its surrounds
- Make new roads and footpaths through the area, extending and joining Monet Court, Chalon Court and Lawanna Court
- Relocate the area’s public open space from Leawarra Reserve to create a new and higher quality park
- Better integrate the neighbourhood by providing new connections to community services
Ballarat is a major regional centre and Victoria’s third largest city. There is a strong demand for social and affordable housing that meets the needs of its growing community.
In total, Homes Victoria will invest a minimum of $80 million in the Ballarat area through the Big Housing Build program.
This Delacombe project contributes to this coordinated program to boost housing supply and tackle the problem of housing affordability in regional Victoria.
About the Leawarra neighbourhood
The Leawarra neighbourhood in Delacombe is 4 kilometres south-west of the Ballarat city centre.
The site is close to the Delacombe and Sebastopol town centres, near great open spaces like Doug Dean Reserve, and local schools.
- 13.7 hectares
- Well situated to support access to jobs, schools, healthcare and social supports
- 147 social housing homes (91% of total) – mostly built in the 1970’s, some of which are no longer fit for purpose. 87% have 3 bedrooms.
- 15 privately owned homes
- Existing open space is poorly maintained and not well used
- More than 150 new homes across the neighbourhood
- A mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom energy efficient and environmentally sustainable homes, making homes more comfortable and less expensive to heat and cool
- Growth in social housing, alongside new affordable and private housing
- Growth in affordable housing for first home buyers and key workers, supporting the local economy
- At least 5% of the new social housing will be available for people with disabilities
- New and improved public open space, and new roads and pedestrian paths providing better connections to the broader neighbourhood
What types of homes are being built?
We’re planning to increase housing diversity and attract new residents to create a great neighbourhood. By replacing ageing housing stock, we will be delivering more than 150 new homes, which will be a mix of 1 and 2 storey homes with 1, 2, and 3-bedrooms. Homes will be energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable.
In addition to providing social housing, this will also offer affordable housing for first home buyers and key workers, supporting the local economy.
The environmentally efficient design will make homes more comfortable and less expensive to heat and cool, with high energy star ratings. All new homes built by Homes Victoria will have a minimum Silver rating from Liveable Housing Australia.
At least 5% of the new social housing will be easy to live in for people with disabilities. Inside the homes, kitchens, bathrooms and storage will be easy to use.
We’re planning new open spaces surrounded by new homes. This will mean a change of where public open spaces are located but will benefit residents across the neighbourhood with 150m2 more open space than before.
We’re also planning landscaped pedestrian links, with tree plantings on streets and better public lighting.
Access and movement
We’re planning new roads and shared trails to make moving around easier. Here are some of the ideas that have come up through our consultations to date.
- Local traffic: Speeding in Leawarra Crescent was identified as a major issue. To deal with this, a variety of speed control measures – including speed humps and road narrowing – are planned.
- Walking: New footpaths and trees are proposed along new roads and developments to fill in the currently incomplete footpath network. Raised pedestrian crossings have also been recommended where the main footpaths cross the roads.
- Safer Streets: We’re making the streets safer with clear lines of sight, street lighting and improved privacy for nearby dwellings by having smart window placement and fence designs.
- Better Connected: We’re also planning on linking pedestrian access to existing public transport networks, so all homes will be within 400 metres of existing bus routes.
A traffic impact assessment found that existing local roads have adequate capacity to accommodate the expected increase in people living at the new development.
Ideas for the community
The area is well supplied with a number of community services within 1 kilometre, though improvements could be made to signs, footpaths, public transport, as well as making residents aware of what’s available.
In partnership with Council and local community organisations, we’ve identified opportunities that could support residents, including:
- education programs about the range of services and facilities in the area
- a proposed community noticeboard to promote local activities (to be managed by a local group)
- bus stop shelters, improved bus services and better transport connections (particularly on Sutton Street and Whitelaw Avenue)
- moving more services into existing facilities in the local area, such as at the Doug Dean Reserve and Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre
- providing more courses at the Yuille Park Community College
- local community placemaking activities.
Power, gas, water, sewage and telecommunications to service new homes will be supplied below ground through the reserve areas of all new roads.
Relocation of current residents
To make this project a reality, we need to replace some of the ageing housing stock. We'll work closely with affected residents to understand their needs, find a suitable home and assist with relocation while the works are being completed. Residents that are required to relocate will have the opportunity to return to a brand new home in the Leawarra neighbourhood upon the completion of the works.