Council advocating for open space and affordable housing

Published on 19 June 2024

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Council will advocate to the State Government for the existing Footscray Hospital site to be available for community use.

Informed by feedback from residents, the Advocacy Plan, adopted as Council’s formal position for the future use and development of the site, outlines four key priority areas – access and movement, public open space, housing, and social infrastructure.

By 2026, most of the existing Footscray Hospital site is expected to be vacated due to the construction of the new Footscray Hospital on the corner of Ballarat and Geelong Roads.

The majority of the site, except for a portion of the car park that belongs to Council, is currently owned by the State Government. While they will ultimately have the final say on the site’s future, Council will be advocating on behalf of the community for:

  • A well connected street network that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists and integrates with the existing and proposed active transport network.
  • A new 3.5 hectare municipal park supporting informal passive recreation with gathering spaces, walking and jogging infrastructure, native planting, and activated edges for passive surveillance.
  • A minimum of 30 per cent affordable and social housing, thoughtfully designed with staggered three to eight storey buildings to create a distinct architectural identity and foster a sense of place.
  • A range of social infrastructure, including a fit-for-purpose community facility to be developed from the existing Psychiatric building that supports a variety of community, arts and limited commercial uses, expanded childcare facilities, and mixed use spaces within residential buildings to support retail, hospitality and other services.

“Our community has been very clear with us that they want open space and high quality housing to be prioritised within the 6.6 hectare site, and we will be sharing this vision with the State Government to ensure the future uses meet community needs now and into the future,” Mayor, Cr Cuc Lam said.

Council will also be making a submission to the State Government consultation on ‘Developing a Plan for Victoria’, to request action on a number of key planning issues related to the City of Maribyrnong.

The Plan is intended to guide growth and development across the State and seeks to address issues and opportunities for housing, affordability, jobs, social services, infrastructure and the environment.

Council’s submission includes requests for equitable access to safe housing and housing for low income households, adding Williamstown Road to the local street curfews and truck bans once the West Gate Tunnel Project is complete, addressing climate change and particularly the urban heat island effect in the western region, air quality interventions, and protecting and improving the health of our waterways.

“The submission also calls on the State Government to invest in new infrastructure to meet existing and future needs of our growing population, and to undertake effective collaboration and engagement with the community and with Council on things that will affect our local communities,” Mayor Lam said. 

Endorsed by Council at this month’s Council meeting, the submission will now be shared with the Minister for Planning and the Department of Transport and Planning for consideration.

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