By JR on Thursday, August 11, 2011
Gay and lesbian retirement village goes ahead at Ballan in Victoria
AUSTRALIA'S first gay and lesbian retirement village is being built on Geelong's doorstep at Ballan in Victoria.
The 120-unit complex for over 55s is being built on the Ballan-Geelong Rd, and it will include an indoor heated spa, bar and croquet lawn.
Work is expected to start on the complex early next year, and interested people will be able to buy units off the plan in two months time, the Geelong Advertiser said.
Developer Peter Dickson has billed the $30 million Linton Estate retirement village as a haven for the gay, lesbian and bisexual community.
Mr Dickson said he had expressions of interest from 226 people from across the world including Turkey, England and the United States as well as from Victoria and interstate.
He also said there had been some interest from people in Daylesford, 20 minutes up the road, which has a sizeable gay and lesbian population.
The retirement village, at the junction of Old Melbourne and Ballan-Geelong roads, will be built in five stages.
Ballan newsagent Ian Ireland said the retirement village would be a welcome addition to the town, which was experiencing rapid growth.
Mr Ireland said the area in question along the Ballan-Geelong Rd was formerly farmland which had been subdivided into large allotments of about 12 hectares. "They are just semi-rural properties," he said. "It should be good, it will mean having more people around it's growing anyway so this is no different. "It's virtually a retirement-style village development and there's nothing wrong with that."
The State Government recently confirmed it would be funding an upgrade of the Ballan Hospital to the tune of $2 million.
Moorabool Shire Council granted a planning permit for Linton Estate retirement village in 2008, but a project redesign has delayed construction.
Mr Dickson said they had hired an engineer and were now meeting with potential builders.
A spokesman for Moorabool Shire Council said the project was first mooted some years ago and he could not recall there being any objections.