The Victorian Government is proposing to redevelop public housing at Bills St, Hawthorn.

Update

On 29 June 2021, Council received a copy of the architectural plans and supporting reports Homes Victoria intends submitting to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for their assessment. Council will review the documentation and undertake an assessment against the requirements of Clause 52.20 of the Boroondara Planning Scheme.

A report will be prepared by officers for the Urban Planning Delegated Committee (UPDC) Meeting, at this stage scheduled for 6:30pm on Monday 16 August 2021.Community members are welcome to attend and make verbal submissions to the Committee.

A copy of the application documents received from Homes Victoria on 29 June can be viewed below.

The application documents do not propose replacement of the Robinson Road car park, or replacement of the former on-site community room. Council will continue to advocate for these to be included within the projects' scope.

Background

The Victorian State Government is proposing to redevelop the former Bills Street Public Housing Estate for 206 social and affordable apartments. Homes Victoria is the State Government agency responsible for the project.

Council supports a public housing development on the Bills Street site in an appropriate built form manner that includes the provision of information to enable meaningful consultation.

Council is concerned regarding the limited public consultation being undertaken in respect to the project, the lack of detailed information regarding aspects of the proposal such as the built form and the limitations on the scope of feedback being sought.

The site has been identified as part of the State Government’s Big Housing Build program as a “Fast Start” project. The State Government will assess and decide on the project.

We are aware that this project has had a long gestation and is of significant interest to the local community. Key points for you to be aware of and consider include:

  • The redevelopment will include a range of dwellings including 1, 2 and 3 bedroom dwellings spread throughout six buildings, ranging between 3 to 7 storeys.
  • 103 social housing dwellings and 103 affordable homes (below market rentals to provide housing for the lower income groups).
  • No sale of public land.
  • Realigned Bills Street will act as a primary pedestrian and cycling connection to existing paths.
  • Vehicle access from Auburn Road with Bills Street blocked to vehicle traffic towards the Robinson Road end.
  • The Victorian Government has determined it will make the planning decisions, rather than Council.

Community Consultation

We are committed to ensuring community voices are heard and encourage residents to get involved.

Homes Victoria asked for community feedback in March and April 2021 via an online survey to learn more about opportunities to improve and create integrated connections and welcoming public spaces in the redevelopment.

Homes Victoria is analysing the feedback and will use it to refine the development plan. The final development plan will be part of the planning application submitted to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

To understand more about the project and to read the community feedback outlined in the Bill Street Hawthorn engagement report June 2021 visit the Victorian Government website.

What you can do

Make a submission to Council, for consideration by officers in the 16 August 2021 UPDC Report and recommendation to Council. Submissions can be sent to [email protected] and should be received by Friday 23 July 2021.

Contact the Minister to voice your concerns:

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

Phone: (03) 9637 9504

Email: [email protected] 

Timeline of activities

Date

Activity

21 August 2017

The Upper House initiated a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program

9 August 2017

A ward meeting was held where Council and local residents discussed the Victorian Government’s proposal.

3 July 2017

Council adopted an Urban Design Framework for Bills Street, Hawthorn, in response to the proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services

 

Application materials

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