In early 2023, Council purchased 498-515 Bell Street and 33 Westgate Street, Pascoe Vale South with the vision to transform part of the site into a new open space as part of our ‘A Park Close to Home’ initiative.
Since the purchase, we have been preparing the site for demolition, including planning approvals, abolishment of services and erecting safety fencing.
We have begun stripping the interior and have been able to salvage timber, steel and brickwork for reuse and recycling.
Over the coming weeks we will demolish the derelict building on the corner of Bell Street and York Street. For those who live or work nearby, please expect some noise and disruption related to these activities on site, while we work to prepare your new open space.
In early 2024, we will finalise the subdivision and commence concept designs and consultation for the new park.
What is a "Park Close to Home"?
Our “Park Close to Home” initiative is about improving access to open space across Merri-bek. The aim of the plan is to ensure the Merri-bek community live within 500 metres walking distance to a park or open space, and within 300 metres for those living in our busiest areas.
As part of this initiative, we have purchased the properties at 498-515 Bell Street and 33 Westgate Street Pascoe Vale South to turn approximately 2,500 square metres of this land into a new open space.
The remainder of the land, approximately 6,634 square metres is being subdivided which will make way for potential offices, residential, retail or essential services.
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 commenced in early 2023 including preparation of the site for demolition of existing buildings, disconnection of power and capping services. From October, work commenced on site to remove asbestos and salvage recyclable materials. By early 2024 the derelict building will be demolished and the site subdivided in preparation for sale and design of the park.
Early in 2024 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 an off-leash enclosed dog park, sports clubs training or sports 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.