‘Huge potential’ at Ararat site
Ararat Rural City Council has endorsed a plan to establish a new development zone and start work on stage one, committing $300,000 to improving access to the site.
The Ararat East Development Zone includes the former Aradale site, Melbourne Polytechnic operations, an industrial and mixed-use site and areas of land next to Green Hill Lake.
Chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said the site had huge potential and provided an opportunity for the council to partner with Regional Development Victoria to attract education, tourism, residential and industrial development.
Dr Harrison said the first stage of the Ararat East Development Zone project would be in two parts, with the council working with Regional Development Victoria to obtain funding.
“Firstly, we want to improve access to the site, so the Western Highway at the Heath Street intersection will be widened to provide a slip lane for Ararat-bound traffic,” he said.
“We also want to improve safety at the train level crossing on Heath Street to cope with higher traffic volumes.
“These initial works would cost around $750,000, with funding being sought from Regional Development Victoria.”
Ararat mayor Peter Beales said the project was a fantastic opportunity for the council to take a leadership role in developing an interesting multi-use zone capable of attracting significant economic and social benefits to the community.
“We are really excited about the site’s potential and particularly happy to give Aradale some much-needed attention,” he said.
“We would love to see Aradale, its buildings and surrounding land developed and used again and we’re sure the community would love to see that happen too.”
Dr Harrison said the whole area was underused and ‘opening it up’ would provide a clear impetus to attract further investment and reinvent the site.
“Within the area, Melbourne Polytechnic has established a 30-hectare vineyard, 250-tonne winery, four-hectare lavender farm and extensive training facilities,” he said.
“The former Aradale property includes 63 buildings, of which a number are protected by a heritage overlay.
“Other opportunities lie in establishing the Mclellan Street linkage to Grano Street via Alfred Street, currently zoned industrial, and residential development opportunities exist in the area near Green Hill Lake, where there is land zoned residential.
“There’s a real need for high-value residential development to support Ararat Rural City’s growth, and the council would really like to see that land used in this way.”