Brown Hill Reserve - potential redevelopment

In June 2021 the Progress Association of Brown Hill decided it was time to initiate a community wide conversation concerning the future of Brown Hill’s ageing community pool. With this in mind an initial concept for the redevelopment of the Brown Hill Reserve (which includes the pool complex) was developed to start this conversation. If/when the pool needed to close how could its legacy be enhanced for future Brown Hill generations?

Before the Progress Association made any decisions, it needed to hear from Brown Hill residents to see what they thought about the future of the pool and reserve. The primary vehicle chosen to gather their feedback was an online survey. The survey was open from mid-July to the end of August (six weeks). The following outlines the outcome of this engagement.

To ensure that all residents were aware of the survey and reasons behind it a Special Edition of the Brown Hill Community Newsletter was published and delivered to all ~2,500 households in Brown Hill in mid-July. The Special Edition of the Brown Hill Community Newsletter can be accessed here: Special Edition July 2021.pdf

Over a six week period, residents were asked to participate in an online survey to provide their feedback concerning the ideas put forward in the Special Edition. There were 330 respondents to the survey. Of these responders, 258 (78.2%) were residents of Brown Hill, with the remaining 72 (21.8%) tending to be residents of nearby suburbs who use the pool and reserve.

There were 360 comments received through the survey and other formats. Comments were also received from the Brown Hill Lions Club; Brown Hill Uniting Church; Brown Hill Kindergarten; and Caledonian Primary School (verbal). All comments were collated into the one document.

The following documents provide further details:

BHPA Community Feedback Report FINAL.pdf

BHPA Community Feedback Key Findings.pdf

BHPA Feedback comments Final sort 31 August.pdf

1 October 2021

The following was received from Michael Hynes, Snr Advisor Strategy & Planning, City of Ballarat, outlining what Council will be undertaking in regard to the future of the Brown Hill Reserve:

" City of Ballarat: Brown Hill Reserve Community Consultation, Feasibility and Master Plan Development Study

City of Ballarat has been working closely with Brown Hill Progress Association on the future development of Progress Park – Brown Hill Reserve. Now the Brown Hill Progress Association Survey is completed, Council has now gone out to obtain the services of suitably qualified and experienced consultant to lead further community consultation, Feasibility Study and Master Planning for Progress Park - Brown Hill Reserve ensuring all the key elements of the reserve are included.

Key focus areas being:

  • Brown Hill Community Pool
  • Brown Hill Community Hall
  • Community Sporting Clubroom
  • Band Hall
  • Brown Hill Reserves (Oval) and associated infrastructure Oval
  • Open space and connections
  • Yarrowee Rail Trail link
  • Playground infrastructure
  • Public toilets
  • Egress

The tender opened on Thursday 30th September and will close on Thursday 14th October with evaluation and award expected to be concluded on 21st October.

Developing a masterplan for Progress Park - Brown Hill Reserve is to ensure suitable and equitable facilities for the tenants of the reserve and the wider community. The plan will need to protect the character of the reserve and ensure the enhancement of the sporting, social, environmental and heritage values that may be present. While also considering and accommodating the long-term development aspirations of the tenant clubs, community groups and residents.

The importance of community facilities is clearly articulated in the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2011 – 2025.

Council and the Recreation Services team look forward to continuing this piece of work with the Brown Hill community."

To access the full tender document access the pdf below. Within the introduction of the document it states: ".Brown Hill Progress Association have undertaken significant community consultation and this work will need to be considered in the feasibility and master planning process."

CoB Brown Hill Feasibility and Masterplan Tender Sept 2021.pdf

Further updates on progress will be provided on this page and through the Community Newsletter.

Brendan Stevens

Secretary, BHPA