Merri-bek City Council is thrilled to announce the purchase of land at 498-515 Bell Street and 33 Westgate Street Pascoe Vale South. Council will develop a new park on part of this land, providing a much-needed open space for residents of Pascoe Vale South.
This acquisition is part of Council’s ‘A Park Close to Home’ initiative which aims to create and improve access to open space in areas of the municipality. Approximately 2500m2 of new open space will be provided for the community on this land.
Merri-bek Mayor Cr Angelica Panopoulos said it was fantastic to be able to transform this land into a vibrant community space.
“This piece of land has so much potential and is in a central location in Pascoe Vale South on the north side of Bell Street. Local community members have let us know over the years that the current site is a bit of an eyesore, so we are really pleased to be able to turn this into something the community can enjoy.
“Later this year we will be asking locals to share their ideas with us on what they would like to see incorporated into the community space, and our teams will then commence the design process.”
“As part of our A Park Close to Home program, Council has identified areas where there are gaps in access to open space, where residents don’t have easy walkable access to a park or open space. The location of this brand new park is going to close a significant gap in Pascoe Vale South.
As part of the development, Council is sub-dividing the 6634 square metres of the land – using approximately 2500m2 for a public park and space and the remaining will make way for potential offices, residential, retail or essential services such as childcare.
Since 2018, Council has invested more than $54 million and created around 17,500 square metres of new open space across the municipality.
This includes Bulleke-bek Park and Garrong Park in Brunswick and Citadel Park in Glenroy. Council is currently in the process of developing parks at 260 Sydney Road, Brunswick and Frith Street, Brunswick.
We have purchased an unused lot of land at 498-514 Bell Street 33 Westgate Street to create a new park as part of our A Park Close to Home initiative.
This lot will be split into portions, with the back section, facing Westgate Street, being transformed into a park for the local community. The front portion, facing Bell Street, will be subdivided and advertised for sale.
This site has been purchased using funds from Open Space Fund, which is for us to use for open spaces across Merri-bek. This is funded entirely through developer contributions that Council collects. No ratepayer funds have been used to purchase this site. However, ratepayer funds will be used to maintain the park, like all public open space in Merri-bek.
Council took the opportunity to purchase three properties in one sale at this site. Of the 6634 square metres of land, around 2500 square metres will be developed for a public park and space. The remaining land (facing Bell Street) will make way for potential offices, residential, retail or essential services.
We have chosen the Westgate Street facing portion of the land to become a park because the land fronting Bell Street is not appropriate for a community park, primarily due to safety and amenity issues.
Work on site is anticipated to commence in March 2023. This will include demolition of existing buildings, disconnection of power and capping services. The site will be cleared while we plan for the park and prepare for sale of the remaining land.
Later this year we will be asking locals to share their ideas with us on what they would like to see incorporated into the community space, and our teams will then commence the design process. There will be opportunities to submit your feedback online and in-person – stay tuned!
Community consultation will determine what will be incorporated in the design of the park. The park’s main purpose will be informal community use and passive recreation. There will be no allocation for Sports clubs training or competitions.
The old building present on the site will be safely demolished in preparation for the sale of the Bell Street facing portion of the site. The Bell Street facing portion of the site will be sub-divided and advertised for sale.
The sold sections of the site will make way for residential, retail or essential services.