I am a developer

View over Soldiers Hill from Town Hall tower in 1872 (William Bardwell, State Library of Victoria)

Gouged bed of the Yarrowee River in 1888 (Source: State Library of Victoria)

logoHUL Toolkit

I am a developer

The Historic Urban Landscape approach can help you to design and develop a property in a way that contributes to the unique identity of the neighbourhood and that responds to local values.


Using these tools and aligning your project to the HUL principles will increase the likelihood your project is embraced by the community and reflects City of Ballarat planning requirements.

  • If you are trying to identify the types of development that may be suitable see step 1 and step 2
  • If you are wanting to understand the context see step 3
  • If you are wanting to understand how local people value see step 2 and step 5
  • To identify Council priorities for development in Ballarat see step 4

Additionally, depending on the sensitivity and value of the site a thorough understanding of your site according to the HUL approach is required. This may already or may not be already available.


Step 1: Understand what's possible on your site

  • All properties in the City of Ballarat are subject to planning controls that guide use and development. To find what planning controls apply to your property and the information you need for developing a property in Ballarat see the City of Ballarat website.

  • Understand your legal obligations for developing historic archaeology in Ballarat with a brochure developed by the state government to assist individuals or groups who are planning works 


Step 2: Review local values of your site

The City of Ballarat has undertaken extensive community engagement to understand what people value about the city.  Values have been identified through the Ballarat Imagine process and consultation for each local area planning project.  This information may be helpful in informing detailed design for your development to ensure that the proposal reflects community values where possible. 

  • The community has told us what they love, value and image for the future of our city through the Ballarat Imagine community consultation 
  • Uncover community values for specific areas around our city through consultation summaries [link to MySay archive – FORTHCOMING] and community engagement reports [link to collection online – FORTHCOMING]


Step 3: Understand the local context of your site 

Understanding the context of your site will help to identify opportunities and constraints.  In particular understanding environmental values, landscape and past and surrounding land uses will help inform potential suitable uses, areas for protection and detailed design.  The past stories of your property and the surrounding landscape will also help identify what’s special about the area so that you can reflect this in the design and future development of the site.


  • Use a Landscape assessment tool to assess landscape character values 

  • The Visualising Ballarat mapping tool is an interactive way to explore the city’s landscape, ecology, history and regulatory frameworks 

  • The Ballarat 3D terrain map visualises the city's terrain today and can be overlaid with historical maps highlighting change and consistency over time



Step 4: Review council policies, strategies and frameworks

  • It is important to understand the planning controls on your property – you can go to the State government planning website to see the Ballarat Planning Scheme - http://planning-schemes.delwp.vic.gov.au/schemes/ballarat

There are also a number of City strategies that may help you to get ideas about what a suitable development could be for your property: 

  • The Today, Tomorrow, Together: The Ballarat Strategy outlines the community’s vision for the future and guides Council’s approaches to delivering it 

  • The other key driver for developing Ballarat’s future is the Creative City Strategy, which provides key priorities and areas of focus for fostering the creative life of the city and its economy

  • The Council Plan outlines the Ballarat City Council’s key priorities for the city

  • The Economic Program outlines the economic priorities for the City of Ballarat and the key initiatives that will guide economic development in the city.

  • Ballarat locals told us that our city’s unique character and heritage was of critical importance to the future of their city and their voice guided the city’s heritage plan. This plan guides how we best leverage, safeguard and celebrate our city’s heritage.

  • A series of community-led local area plans and master plans [link to MySay archive – FORTHCOMING] guide the future of Ballarat’s CBD, local areas and townships

  • Making Ballarat Central is Council’s long-term plan for growth and development in Ballarat’s historic CBD.

  • To connect up with others in the development community in Ballarat and keep up to date with emerging issues and opportunities, you might like to become a member of Building Ballarat Forum 


Step 5: Engage locals and follow the process

It is highly recommended that you talk to your neighbours and people affected by your development throughout your design, planning and development process. Depending on the scale of development or level of community interest in the site, either an informed, consultative or participatory planning process should be undertaken. This approach will help to identify and resolve any issues early in the process, help develop a common understanding of what’s important and ideally result in a reduced risk of objection to the proposal. The Ballarat Imagine method may help.

Additionally, depending on the sensitivity and value of the site a thorough understanding of your site according to the HUL approach is required. This may already or may not be already available.

For enquiries employing the HUL approach for your project, contact the Strategic Planning team for further information by strategicplanning@ballarat.vic.gov.au or phone 5320 5500.