(City of Moonee Valley)
Moonee Valley City Council this week endorsed the draft Activity Centre Structure Plans for Keilor Road and North Essendon which will guide their transformation into thriving and exciting multi use centres.
Mayor Cr Ben Opie said Council will soon be undertaking further community consultation on the draft Structure Plans which would set the direction for the future use and development of these two activity centres in line with the State Governments Melbourne 2030 strategy. This is about enhancing the amenity of these centres for our future enjoyment. The Structure Plans will provide the framework for how to best manage and develop these areas which are likely to experience significant changes in the years to come, Cr Opie said.
The Structure Plans seek to focus retail, commercial, community and residential development within the core of the activity centres, protect residential amenity around the periphery and establish design guidelines to facilitate development in keeping with their status as major activity centres. Ramsay Ward Cr Paul Giuliano said the draft Structure Plans set a vision for Keilor Road and North Essendon as bustling, attractive, safe and sustainable centres attracting visitors, businesses and investors with many places to live, work and play.
Keilor Road will develop and grow into a lively mixed use area much like Lygon and Chapel Streets. We aim to retain the charm of the traditional retail/commercial centre, but complement this with new, high quality and sustainable mixed use development of differing size and densities, especially along the eastern end which is now a mix of car yards and associated businesses. We are also looking to give both Keilor Road and North Essendon a strong landscape character and generally improve the safety and amenity for pedestrians and cyclists, he said.
Other changes will improve the interface between the residential land use and the commercial built form to maintain the local character. Car parking within the Keilor Road Activity Centre is planned to be mostly in underground or undercover car parks.
The North Essendon Activity Centre will retain its core character, with improvements to the location of key public transport stops and improvements to pedestrian access. The area will be consolidated to create a retail and community hub. There will be significant greening of the area through street planting and the creation of a plaza on Leake Street. The development of the Structure Plans was achieved with the help of funding from the Creating Better Places Program of the Department of Planning and Community Developments (DPCD), and the successful collaboration between Council and Council-appointed consultants Hansen Partnerships. Overseeing the preparation of the draft plans were two Steering Groups consisting of representatives from DPCD, VicRoads, public transport providers, trader associations, environment groups, local residents and several key stakeholders.
The community consultation process will take place in during October/November, with the final Plans going back to Council in December for final endorsement.