Haig Street site update – October 2013

How does Council view housing development growth in this area?

This site has been classed as an ‘accessible area’ because it is relatively well serviced by public transport and other services. Accessible areas in this location will see a mix of medium density housing which could include detached homes, townhouses and units developed.

Any future development will be determined by Council having regard to the existing state and local planning scheme requirements.

What sized blocks will we see in a medium density development?

Lot sizes are likely to vary with small house lots of up to 400 m² but also with a range of smaller townhouse lots on parts of the site.

How many houses will there be?

The site could accommodate 100-150 homes.

What controls will apply to developers?

Like any development, existing local and state planning controls will apply.

By purchasing the land however, Council is able to guide the nature of future developments. Prospective developers will be required to meet development guidelines that meet Council expectations.

The guidelines will specifically cover the housing mix and the distance homes are ‘set back’ from the street to maintain a ‘treed’ streetscape as well as adherence to environmental design principles.

What will happen to the trees on the site?

While some trees will be removed, more will be planted in their place so that when the development is completed, there will more trees on the site than you see today.

Each tree on the site has been individually assessed by an expert arborist to identify those that should be kept and those that could be removed.

Some trees have been assessed as environmental weeds and have been earmarked for removal during demolition works.

Do the local roads have capacity for development on this site?

Yes. While any development will lead to an increase in traffic, the local road network in the area still has plenty of capacity. It is important to remember that traffic dropped when the school closed.

Is there asbestos on the site?

A thorough audit has been undertaken and some buildings contain asbestos as is typical for buildings of this era, mainly in the form of asbestos sheeting. All asbestos will be removed prior to demolition by a licensed demolisher in accordance with strict regulations.

What is going to happen next?

Council believes the site should not be kept in its current state. That’s why demolition works have been scheduled as the top priority with works to start in mid-November.

When is development going to start?

Council is developing a process that will ensure we attract and are able to select the best development option. This will start with an Expression of Interest (EOI) in November this year. Council will conduct more information sessions to keep you informed throughout the process.

When can I see some development plans?

When developed, plans will be well publicised on the Banyule website and the community will be invited to another information session to learn more about them. This is likely to occur by mid 2014.

What is happening on the corner of Law and Bonar Street?

This project was planned before Council purchased the remainder of the site. Austin Health purchased this parcel of land separately and are building a Prevention and Recovery Care Service.

For further information, please contact John Heselev, Austin Health Corporate Communications director on 9469 6691 or email john.heselev@austin.org.au.

Will there be any public open space as part of the development?

The immediate area around Haig Street has good access to parks and reserves with three existing located approximately 400-500m of the former school site. They include Malahang Reserve, Shelley Reserve and James Reserve.

While development of the site will not include public space a substantial financial commitment is being made by Council to fund the refurbishment of the basketball courts at the former Banksia-La Trobe Secondary College. Additionally Malahang reserve has seen significant upgrades with more improvements planned in the future.

Why did Council purchase the three former school sites?

Refer to my earlier article.

Further information

If you have a question or want to speak to someone, you can ring Shaun Barber, Manager School Sites Redevelopment Project on 9490 4222. Alternatively, your questions can be emailed to shaun.barber@banyule.vic.gov.au.