Site and amendment background

    What is the current status of the land?

    The land is currently vacant, privately owned land. 

    The land is in the Farming Zone, however is inside the Urban Growth Boundary to metropolitan Melbourne. Council’s strategic planning policy has identified the land as potential employment land, for a mixture of industrial and office development.

    Isn’t this land required to protect residents from the landfill?

    The land formed the separation or ‘buffer’ between the existing Westmeadows residential area and the activities that were occurring on Tullamarine Landfill. The operations of the landfill ceased in 2008 meaning this separation is no longer required to help manage the amenity impacts of the landfill on residents. 

    Following the closure of the landfill, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) approved the Tullamarine Closed Landfill Post Closure Management Plan. This plan outlines the requirements placed on the owner of the landfill in regard to the management of potential risks to the environment and human health from the landfill, and managing its ongoing, long-term rehabilitation. 

    Why can’t the land be left undeveloped or become open space?

    State planning policy requires that the needs of Melbourne’s growing population be planned for, particularly new housing and employment opportunities. Development of vacant land inside the Urban Growth Boundary of Melbourne such as this land is supported in State and local planning policy to meet these needs. 

    Investigations and planning assessments of the land have identified that development of the land for industrial and residential development is acceptable and would contribute to meeting these needs. The proposed amendment also includes requirements to provide community benefit through the provision of open spaces and social housing.

    There is considered to be an adequate provision of open space in the local area, the whole land is not required for open space. The amendment will provide a new neighbourhood park (0.75 hectares) and four hectares of open space/stormwater treatment area along the Moonee Ponds Creek which will enhance the local open space network.

    What has been proposed for this land previously?

    Two separate planning scheme amendments (Amendment C160 and C202) have previously been proposed for the site. Both of these amendments related only to the land at 140-204 Western Avenue (did not include the Wright Street land parcels) and were for industrial and commercial development proposals. 

    Both amendments were abandoned by Council following formal exhibition.

    How is this amendment different from previous proposals for the land?

    This amendment is supported by more detailed technical background work including updated traffic and biodiversity assessments and additional environmental and social impact assessments. It is also considered to be a more comprehensive rezoning proposal than the previous amendments as it includes the Wright Street land parcels. It also proposes zones that make the intended use of the land clear and transparent in combination with planning controls that will facilitate an integrated development outcome across the whole of the land. 

    Whilst the status on groundwater contamination has not changed since the last amendment was abandoned, this amendment proposes controls which will require a Development Plan to be prepared for the site that must be approved by Council and will need to demonstrate that a full assessment of environmental conditions has been undertaken.  The development Plan will also need to demonstrate how the design of the site will maintain the ongoing monitoring obligations associated with the Tullamarine Closed Landfill.

    Unlike the previous proposals, this amendment also introduces residential uses on the site to provide a better urban design response to sensitive interfaces to the Moonee Ponds Creek and existing Westmeadows residential area. The amendment will also provide public open space and social housing, which had not been contemplated on the site previously.

    The land is also now owned by MAB Corporation. MAB Corporation have extensive experience in developing industrial/commercial and residential proposals on sites such as this. 

    What is the current status of contamination on this land?

    An Environmental Audit Report has been finalised for the land parcel at 140-204 Western Avenue. The report found that whilst the land itself was not contaminated, the groundwater, some 15-25 metres deep, is and continues to be contaminated by the Closed Tullamarine Landfill. The Auditor concluded that development on the land, including residential development, was acceptable provided construction works do not interfere with the groundwater and the ongoing ability to monitor contamination via the existing bore holes on the land was maintained. 

    The Environmental Audit Report also assessed landfill gas and soil vapour risk arising from the neighbouring landfill. The Auditor concluded that there would be no significant risk to occupants inside or outside of future buildings based on the proposed land uses (i.e. industrial and residential) and that no specific management measures in relation to landfill gas are required on the audit site. 

    A Preliminary Environmental Assessment for the Wright Street land parcels have been undertaken and have not identified any contamination that would affect the amendment and proposed use of the land. The existing Environmental Audit Overlay on the site together with the requirements in the proposed Development Plan Overlay – Schedule 33 (DPO33) will ensure a full audit is conducted before the land can be developed.

    Environmental audits and assessments are undertaken by auditors who are approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA has reviewed the proposed amendment, having regard to the environmental reports that have been completed on the site, and has not objected to the amendment being prepared.

    Who manages the monitoring of the landfill gas and groundwater on the site?

    The monitoring of landfill gas and groundwater contamination is undertaken via the existing bore holes on the amendment land and is managed by Cleanaway, the owners of the adjoining Tullamarine Closed Landfill. Cleanaway’s monitoring obligations are outline in the Tullamarine Closed Landfill Post Closure Management Plan, which has been approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Development information

    What sort of businesses will go into the industrial precinct?

    The industrial precinct will be made up of different lot sizes that can accommodate a range of industrial and commercial businesses, such as wholesale trade, distribution, warehousing, logistics and advanced manufacturing. The development could also accommodate a cafe.

    How will the amenity of existing and future residents be protected from industrial uses?

    The EPA has reviewed the amendment and has not objected to the proposed zoning of the land. The Industrial 3 zoning controls will require future planning applications to consider any amenity impacts (noise, light, odour, pollution etc.) generated by the proposed use to neighbouring properties and the local area. 

    The proposed Development Plan Overlay – Schedule 33 (DPO33) requires a 15 metre landscape buffer to be constructed along the entire boundary between the industrial and residential precincts. This will provide visual and amenity separation between the two areas.

    How many houses will be in the residential precinct?

    The residential precinct will provide approximately 230 dwellings.

    The majority of residential lots will be between 450sqm – 550sqm to reflect the existing subdivision pattern in the Westmeadows residential area and ensure lots can an appropriately respond to the topography of the site. There is an opportunity for townhouses to be delivered around the proposed neighbourhood park.

    How much of the residential precinct will be social housing and where will it be located?

    The amendment requires 10% of the proposed housing to be delivered as social housing dwellings which will be dispersed throughout the residential precinct. Social housing dwellings will be owned and managed by a registered housing association and will provide housing for low and very low household income groups.

Traffic information

    How will the traffic from the site be managed?

    The proposed road layout will be designed to separate future industrial and residential traffic. The concept plan in the proposed Development Plan Overlay – Schedule 33 (DPO33) shows that the industrial precinct will only be accessible from Western Avenue and Victoria Street. Industrial traffic will be required to use Western Avenue to access Mickleham Road. The residential precinct will only be accessible from Wright Street, and residential traffic will access Mickleham Road via Western Avenue, Bamford Avenue and Hillcrest Drive.

    How much extra traffic will there be on the local streets through the Westmeadows residential area?

    It is anticipated that Bamford Street will accommodate up to 30 extra car trips each morning and evening peak hour, and Hillcrest Drive will accommodate up to 20 extra car trips each morning and evening peak hour. This is considered to be an acceptable increase based on current traffic conditions and the capacity of local roads.

    Will industrial traffic use the local streets through the Westmeadows residential area?

    No, the road layout will be designed to direct all industrial traffic along Western Avenue to access Mickleham Road.

    Will the additional traffic make turning at the Western Avenue and Mickleham Road intersection more difficult?

    The Traffic Report supporting the amendment analysed the likely impact of traffic generated from the proposed development of the land on the surrounding road network and critical intersections. To mitigate traffic impacts, the amendment and accompanying legal agreement will require the developer to construct the following infrastructure upgrades if the land is developed:

    • Mickleham Road/Western Avenue/Rylandes Drive intersection:
      • Additional right turn lane required for the western approach
      • New left-turn/slip lane for the eastern approach
    • Mickleham Road/Broadmeadows Road roundabout:
      • A new separate right-turn lane for the south approach
      • Existing right-through lane to be converted to through only 
    • Western Avenue
      • Provision of right turn lanes at Global Drive and Wright Street
      • Provision of roundabout at Hillcrest Drive
      • The construction/continuation of Western Avenue (west of Wright Street) through to Victoria Street road reservation.

Open space information

    How big is the neighbourhood park on Wright Street and what will it include?

    The proposed park will be approximately 7,500sqm and include a playground, shelter, seating area, drinking station and informal recreation facilities, for example a. basketball half court and kick about area.

    How big is the open space area along the Moonee Ponds Creek and how will it connect to adjoining parkland and trails?

    The proposed northern open space/stormwater treatment area along the creek will be over four hectares in area. It will include a series of bioretention systems to treat the storm water from the site. It will include additional shared walking and bicycle paths that will connect from the new development to existing paths in the wider Moonee Ponds Creek reserve area.

    Who will own and manage the new open space areas?

    The proposed open space areas will be owned and managed by Council.

Environmental and heritage information

    How will any impacts to the Moonee Ponds Creek be mitigated?

    The proposed planning controls require best practice Water Sensitive Urban Design to be incorporated in the stormwater treatment system and throughout the development to ensure there are not negative impacts to the riparian and aquatic values along the Creek. This will be managed through planning permit approvals as part of the future development of the site.

    What will happen to the wildlife, including the kangaroos, that are currently seen on the land?

    The proposed development of the land will result in the removal of vegetation and habitat enjoyed by some fauna species, however no species or ecological communities of state or national significance have been recorded on the site. Many locally common species, including the Eastern Grey Kangaroo population, will disperse to other suitable habitats in the surrounding area but are likely to continue to utilise and visit the Moonee Ponds Creek environment which will be protected with improved management.

    The proposed development of the land will also provide additional habitat in the form of landscaped areas which will be used in the future by a range of other fauna species (e.g. birds species which have adapted to urban environments).

    What will happen to any native vegetation on the site?

    The Biodiversity Assessment supporting the amendment found approximately 9.5 hectares of native vegetation (modified native grassland) on the site and one remnant scattered tree. Any removal of native vegetation for development will require a planning permit under the Planning and Environment Act, and offsets to be secured.

    How will heritage matters be dwelt with through the development of the site?

    A Heritage Overlay relating to drystone walls and farm hedges currently applies to the land. The proposed Development Plan Overlay – Schedule 33 (DPO33) requires the future Development Plan to demonstrate how the design of the site seeks to retain or remove the heritage values of the existing Heritage Overlay, as well as how it protects any Aboriginal cultural heritage values.

    An archaeologist has been engaged to undertake archaeological excavations across the entire site. The archaeologist will be working within the relevant legislative framework, including the Heritage Act 1995 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018. The archaeological fieldwork will identify and record all historical heritage (e.g. early farming implements etc.) and Aboriginal cultural heritage values across the entire site, and recommendations will be used to inform the Development Plan.

    The final archaeological report will be accessible freely to all stakeholders by application to Heritage Victoria and Aboriginal Victoria.

    Development of the land will not be permitted until the assessment of all heritage values on the site has been completed.

Construction information

    How long will the development of the site take?

    It is anticipated that the delivery of the subdivision will be staged over a period of three to five years. Development of the site is expected to be completed in five years.

    What will be the traffic and noise impacts to local residents and businesses during the construction phase?

    Construction noise will only be generated during standard working hours.

    Construction traffic will be managed through a Traffic Management Plan which will be prepared by traffic engineers on behalf of the developer as part of the planning permit material. Council’s engineering department will approve the Plan through the detailed design stage and enforcement of the Plan will be the responsibility of both the developer and Council.

    How will waste soil and ground water contamination be managed through the construction phase?

    Any waste soil or rock that is generated from the development of the land will be managed through a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP). A CEMP is an industry standard approach to managing dust, water runoff and waste soil generated by development.

    Construction works will remain shallow enough as to not interfere with the groundwater under the site. 

    What will happen to the monitoring bores on the land once the land is developed?

    In line with the Environmental Audit Report for the Western Avenue land parcel, the amendment requires the development of the site to retain the monitoring bores on the land. If the bores are no longer required in the future, they will be decommissioned and/or removed. This will be subject to EPA approval.

    What technical reports have been prepared for the amendment?

    The amendment is supported by the following technical reports:

    • Traffic and Transport Assessment
    • Environmental Audit for 140-204 Western Ave
    • Preliminary Environmental Assessment for 47-67 and 69-99 Wright St
    • Stormwater Management Strategy
    • Infrastructure Servicing Report
    • Preliminary Site Sections and Road Gradings
    • Water Quality Treatment Measures
    • Biodiversity Assessment
    • Cultural Heritage Management Plan
    • Historic Cultural Heritage Assessment
    • Social Impact Assessment
    • Site analysis
    • Landscape Master Plan

    Hard copies of these reports will be available to be viewed at the community information sessions. Digital copies are also available on request. Please note a number of the documents are very large in file size.