West Footscray Community Facilities Plan

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Project background

In 2018, Council undertook a feasibility study that analysed the existing condition and use of RecWest Footscray, whilst also exploring the suitability for redevelopment with consideration for future use and community needs/expectations.

As a result of failing building conditions and the pressing need to accommodate existing and future demand for a variety of community uses, Council has endorsed the commencement of conceptual designs for a new community centre at RecWest Footscray.

More broadly, Council has identified that a long term vision and Sports Facilities Plan is required for the neighbouring Johnson and Shorten Reserves (both of which are currently at capacity) to identify future provision for the West Footscray Sporting Precinct as a whole.

Project aim

The West Footscray Community Facilities Plan aims to:

  • ensure our sports facilities and open space provision for Johnson, Shorten and Barrett Reserves meet the current and future needs of the community
  • determine the feasibility of redeveloping Johnson, Shorten and Barrett Reserves to accommodate a variety of sports and meet the current and future demands based on increasing capacity
  • prepare a Sports Facilities Plan to guide the development of Johnson, Shorten and Barrett Reserves and their integration with RecWest Footscray over the next 10 years

Project objectives

The development of the West Footscray Community Facilities Plan will be based around the following project objectives that have been drawn from existing policies and the feasibility study:

  • responsive to changing participation trends, community needs and demands
  • consolidation of assets for more efficient and cost effective asset management
  • facilities that are fit for purpose and meet contemporary compliance guidelines
  • safe and accessible public spaces for all ages
  • maximise net open space
  • improve facilities while maintaining local amenity
  • provide for a variety of open space uses
  • improve community wellbeing and encourage healthy active lifestyles
  • encourage active/sustainable transport modes

Project site

RecWest Footscray and Barrett Reserve

Barrett Reserve is home to the 10th Footscray Scout Group, with 64 members, along with RecWest Footscray.

The RecWest Footscray facility is located at the corner of Market Street and Essex Street, Footscray. The facility was constructed in 1953 and is now 63 years old. The facility, currently managed under contract by the YMCA, is used for a range of recreational and sporting activities. The buildings and surrounds are failing due to poor soil conditions causing the facility to sink.

A feasibility study undertaken in 2018 identified community demand and the need to redevelop a new community/wellness centre.

Johnson Reserve

Johnson Reserve is located on 160 Essex Street and neighbours View and Suffolk Streets. The reserve comprises one soccer ground with irrigation and a pavilion that has reached the end of its useful life. The reserve also homes one multi-purpose court and one tennis court, both of which have significantly deteriorated over time and are no longer fit for purpose. The southern end of the reserve houses a recently constructed playground, however its current location limits the provision for wider sporting use and encroaches the already limited training space.

Johnson Reserve is home to the Maribyrnong Swifts Football Club, an all-female soccer club comprising both junior and senior teams. The Swifts currently have 104 members and have outgrown the existing facility at Johnson Reserve. The Druids Cricket Club utilise Johnson Reserve in the summer to run their Milo in2 Cricket program which caters for 89 junior boys and girls. This is achieved through the use of rollout synthetic wickets.

Shorten Reserve

Located at 71-81 Essex St West Footscray, Shorten Reserve is home to the West Footscray Football Club in the winter and the Sunshine Druids Cricket Club in the summer. The football club has 342 members with the cricket club fielding 141 members. The ground is in extremely poor condition, with undulations throughout as a result of being built upon an old quarry. The reserve contains a turf wicket, cricket nets and a pavilion that no longer supports the needs of the tenant clubs. The reserve runs adjacent to RecWest Footscray and is separated only by Market Street.

Community consultation

After hearing from the community in 2019, we have taken the feedback gathered during a range of community engagement activities to refine the concept designs for the West Footscray Community Facilities Plan.

The new concept designs for RecWest Footscray, Shorten and Barrett Reserves, and Johnson Reserve aim to provide facilities that are fit-for-purpose and meet community need and demand – now and into the future.

The community is now invited to have their say on the draft plans by 3 May 2020 to ensure the facilities meet the community’s needs, improve community wellbeing, and encourage healthy and active lifestyles.

Have your say