BUNINYONG residents are confused and angry about a large excavation in the nature strip near the corner of Warrenheip and Forest Streets. Without warning a large concrete pad, is now to be installed there. It will interfere with existing plans for this precinct of Buninyong and will be an eyesore.
For two years the Buninyong & District Community association (BDCA) and the local Business Network have been lobbying politicians and Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to relocate the bus stop that stands by this intersection. BDCA claim the move was justified because the bus stop currently appropriates close to 40 per cent of existing parking adjacent to Warrenheip Street businesses. Add in the construction of a new pedestrian crossing adjacent to the bus stop and that percentage increases substantially. From a local amenity and safety perspective local residents see it as “crazy”. Two other bus stops stand within 200 metres of the stop at issue. In addition the matter has been raised twice in Parliament by Joshua Morris MLC, and a petition from business owners/ operators has been given to the Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard. The only response from the Minister, through Mr Howard has been to suggest relocation of another bus stop which has never been requested nor wanted. “The concrete pad will take up the entire nature strip in front of a private residence and will severely impact on a plan drawn up by the City of Ballarat to beautify and improve the general business strip between Forest and Eyre Streets. An adjacent, large street tree is also at risk,” BDCA president Linda Zibell said. The existing plans for the precinct call for levelling of the nature strip, extension of the street vines, and a pavement upgrade to better allow for al fresco dining in front of two shops in this strip. “This kind of insensitive decision-making incrementally deteriorates Buninyong’s amenity and impacts on the character of the township,” BDCA secretary, Merle Hathaway said. “We neither want nor need huge concrete slabs in Buninyong’s main street.” Strong concern has been expressed about the removal of the large tree near the new pedestrian crossing. Already large numbers of branches have been lopped to improve sight lines to the lights.
Klaudia Hochhuth’s house is directly in line with the excavation. She said she was very disappointed that she nor any other residents and businesses were not informed that this type of work was to take place. “Nobody knows what it is,” she said. “I have not received any mail nothing. “The other thing, which really concerns me in general, is the drainage on the street is not good and if there is a lot of rain the water comes up high enough that the bus stops in the middle of the street so that people don’t have to jump into the water.” After the heavy rains over the weekend Klaudia said the excavation in front of her house was a ‘square lake’.
“They started work about two weeks ago and then all of a sudden everything stopped.”