Melton proceeding with $15 billion urban regeneration plan

Melton Community Hall @ 2

Melton Community Hall, Melton South

The Melton Shire Council is in the midst of formalising a major planning initiative which involves 2,400 hectares of vacant land between Paynes road at Rockbank and Toolern Creek in Melton South, locations which are 30km and 40km from Melbourne CBD respectively.

This plan involves 2 community centres, retail and commercial precincts, a new railway station and low, medium and high-density housing which is expected to add 22,000 new dwellings and increase the current Melton population of 43,000 to 100,000 by 2026. In addition, the plan also caters for the expansion of land for Harness Racing Victoria which recently moved from Moonee Valley to a new $40 million facility in Melton.

Back in 1970, the population of Melton was 4,000. Today, the wider Melton Shire Council which includes suburbs to the east of Melton closer to the city, is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Australia, with the current population of 103,000 forecast to reach 144,000 by 2016.

The Honourable Justin Madden, Minister for Planning is expected to approve the Toolern Precinct Structure Plan in June 2010, with a developer expected to be appointed by December 2010. Subdivision works will be carried out in the middle of next year, with construction set to start soon after. More than 35 developers, consultants and other interested stakeholders are expected to be involved in the proposal to develop the first 512 hectares of council-owned land out of which 381 hectares will be residential properties.

Among the property developers expected to be joint-venture partners include Delfin, Lend Lease, MAB Corporation, Mirvac Group and Stockland, which recently paid $57 million for a 124-hectare development site in nearby Leakes road capable of accommodating 1,300 residential dwellings.

On completion of the entire 2400-hectare redevelopment, just one Western Highway exit will divide the invisible line where Melton begins and metropolitan Melbourne ends, loosely considered the 1,996 housing estates of Caroline Springs and Burnside, which actually share the same postcode as Deer Park.

M8 Western Freeway @ 1

Excellent drive on the M8 Western Freeway

Total development value is expected to be a massive $15 billion will be invested in Melton, spread as $9 billion and $6 billion for residential and commercial development, making this investment a larger urban regeneration than Docklands’ $12 billion to the west of Melbourne CBD.

Melton, being known as the former “thoroughbred country”, which is currently 40 minutes by car from Melbourne CBD is expected to become more accessible when the proposed outer ring road is completed, connecting the suburb to Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport and an interchange at Oakland Junction connecting outer-western suburbs to the Hume Freeway. This development is another step closer for Melton to become part of metropolitan Melbourne.

The above is an excerpt from an article written by Marc Pallisco for The Age newspaper.

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