A long-standing plan to rezone a large portion of land north of Ballan for residential use is a step closer to fruition, following last week’s council meeting.

A proposal to rezone a portion of land on Ballanee Road – roughly 1.7km north of Ballan – from Farming Zone (FZ) to Rural Living Zone (RLZ) has been before council a number of times since November 2015, but now looks likely to happen following the passing of an amended motion last week.

The proposal is for a 95 hectare block of land to be subdivided into 42 lots, varying from two to 2.5 hectares.

It had previously been knocked back by council due to incomplete documentation and a lack of strategic justification.

The recommendation from council officers was to defer consideration of the proposal, however mayor Paul Tatchell successfully moved a motion to finalise the planning scheme amendment documents and begin the process of exhibiting the plans to the public.

“The reality is we have one, five-acre block for sale in this whole district,” Cr Tatchell said.

“Every day as a Moorabool councillor someone will say to me ‘don’t let Ballan become like Bacchus Marsh’. The scope that we want in rural living is exactly this proposal, it’s the same reason that I came to Ballan 27 years ago.”

Councillor Tom Sullivan argued that the justification for the rezoning was not sufficient, and they should defer their decision.

“It is a spot re-zoning, and experience of that is that they generally fail and do not pass the initial threshold of the strategic justification,” he said.

The proposal will now go to the planning minister for consideration.