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

Update

Plans for the redevelopment of the former Bills Street Public Housing Estate in Hawthorn have been approved by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio. 

Work is scheduled to begin in early 2022 and be completed by late 2023.

The redevelopment of the land at 1-12 Bills Street will deliver 103 social housing dwellings and 103 affordable housing dwellings. Six buildings will be constructed on the site, ranging from 3-7 storeys. The dwellings will comprise one, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments.

We would like to thank our local community, who have provided valuable feedback and advocacy to help shape many of the State Government’s key decisions for this project. 

We are pleased that collective advocacy between the community and Council has resulted in Homes Victoria covering all construction and delivery costs for a new public car park to be built at Patterson Reserve. This car park will replace the existing car park that will be removed as part of the Bills Street works. 

The new car park will increase parking from 39 bays to 48. The site includes new lighting, drainage, a new pram crossing, a raised-threshold pedestrian crossing on Robinson Road, a raised-threshold shared-path crossing within the car park for velodrome users, and a bike-repair station. 

Council supports the development of public housing on the Bills Street site. However, the approved plans do not address most issues raised by Council, including the lack of a community room in the development and the removal of several trees Council sought to retain. Given the Minister’s approval, no further planning permissions are required. The development now moves to the implementation stage, with Hansen Yuncken appointed as the builder.

Please note there are changes to the existing Robinson Road car park prior to the development.

Changed access to Robinson Road car park

Alternative temporary public carparking will be available at the University of Melbourne campus. 

This temporary car park will be available until the new permanent car park in Patterson Reserve is complete in September 2022.

Key changes include:

  • No standing/parking in Robinson Road. This will become a drop‑off area only. This is except for the two accessible carparking spaces, which will be maintained.
  • A total of 40 spaces of alternative carparking is now available at the University of Melbourne campus.
  • 13 spaces are designated for public carparking only and not to be used by contractors. Contractor parking is also prohibited on weekends.
  • Appropriate wayfinding signage will be provided.
  • Safe pedestrian access will be available along the east side of Robinson Road.

Background

The Victorian State Government proposed to redevelop the former Bills Street Public Housing Estate for 206 social and affordable apartments. 

In June 2021, Council received a copy of architectural plans and supporting reports from Homes Victoria, the State Government agency responsible for the project. 

The documents were to be submitted to the State Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for their assessment. A copy of the documents received from Homes Victoria is available on this page under Application Materials.

Council reviewed this documentation and undertook an assessment against the requirements of Clause 52.20 of the Boroondara Planning Scheme. A report was prepared by officers for the Urban Planning Delegated Committee (UPDC) Meeting in August 2021. 

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. 

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

Council was aware that the project has had a long gestation and is of significant interest to the local community.  There was concern to 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. 

Community consultation

Homes Victoria asked for community feedback in March and April 2021 using an online survey. The survey aimed to find out about opportunities to improve and create integrated connections and welcoming public spaces in the redevelopment.

Homes Victoria used the community feedback to refine the development plan. The final development plan was part of the planning application submitted to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

To read 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.

 


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