The land on which the Greythorn Community Hub sits was historically Council-owned land. In 1959, Council transferred a part of its land to the North Balwyn RSL. In agreeing to transfer part of its land, a restrictive covenant was placed on the title in 1959 to make clear the expectation that the land would be returned to Council when the RSL sub-branch closed, as is now the case.
The restrictive covenant states the land must only be used for purposes benefitting the community in the event the sub-branch closed, such as a public or memorial hall, a Municipal Library, a Kindergarten and Infant Welfare Centre or Community Centre. Council is the only organisation which can comply with the covenant.
In 2014, the North Balwyn RSL Sub-branch committee agreed to support the building of the Greythorn Community Hub which would deliver services complying with the conditions of the covenant on title. This project required both the land owned by the RSL sub-branch and abutting Council land. A lease was therefore agreed so the land owned by the RSL sub-branch could remain in their ownership but be used for both a community hub and a place for the sub-branch to meet and display their memorabilia.
With the closure of the North Balwyn RSL sub-branch, the RSL is now acting to meet the obligations set when the land was transferred in 1959.
It must be noted, the Hub sits across land owned by both Council and RSL Victoria. Out of the total land size of 3670m², Council already owned 1336m² or 36.4% of the land prior to the development of the Hub. Our proposal, accepted by RSL Victoria, is currently before Consumer Affairs for review and approval.
The community facilities at the Greythorn Community Hub, which Council invested $14 million in a total cost of $17.2 million, meet the expectations set for this site in 1959 perfectly. The North Balwyn RSL sub-branch and RSL Victoria are to be commended for the vision and commitment they have shown to supporting the local community. Today, a library, early childhood centre, maternal and child health centre and neighbourhood house all operate from the Hub, providing a range of valued services, programs and meeting spaces for the Boroondara community; all thanks to the caring and generous community spirit shown by the RSL. They are leaving a wonderful legacy.