Moonee Valley Councillors will vote next Tuesday on whether to release three design options for a $40m Community Hub at Debney’s Park for a six week community consultation period.
The three options are currently listed as ‘confidential’ in the Council meeting agenda. The community can’t see these options prior to the Council voting on whether to take them to consultation.
We know from the Council Report that the three options all have:
- a community hall
- meeting rooms and co-working spaces
- a community kitchen and kitchen garden
- two indoor highball courts
- a community sports pavilion
- paths for walking and cycling
- play spaces, BBQs and picnic areas
- outdoor sports facilities
- water features and wetlands
- and may have family and children’s services.
We also know that all three options are located in the area labelled ‘2’ below:
We’re told in the report that the location is on the advice of an architect whose “genius delivered the Bendigo Art Gallery: … the thinking that achieved the success of the Bendigo Arts precinct is now brought to the siting of the Flemington Community Hub.”
Almost a year ago, the MV Blog wrote an article about the Hub querying the, then, advertised location of the Hub as it would replace a well used boulevard of beautiful trees, and would create a built form barrier between the estate and the large green backyard.
At the time, I was told “much more consideration can be given to the siting as the discussion progresses”.
I’ve been a member of the Flemington Neighbourhood Advisory Group created for consultation on the Hub and other developments in Flemington. As a FNAG group, the location of the Hub has not been discussed. It has been decided by MVCC officers that the Hub should be located in the area depicted above.
This means there will need to be an access road across the park for either a car park beneath the Hub, or to provide access for loading, disability and contractors. It means these trees will go.
Reasons have been provided for the decision not to locate the Hub at the site of the current centre, car park and tennis court. These can be found in the Council report online.
We also know from the report that Moonee Valley Council is seeking legal advice with respect to the Council land on which Debney Meadows Primary School is built. Council is seeking clarification on occupier (the school’s) rights and responsibilities.
The Council report flags that Debney Meadows Primary School may operate at a different site – although the Department of Education has no plans to relocate Debney Meadows Primary School.
We also know from the Council Report that the Council Project team believes that a key risk is that the community will not be happy, or will be disengaged, with the concept options.
The report says that an extensive program of stakeholder consultation has taken place – which makes one wonder why the project team is concerned the community will not be happy with the confidential options going to Council next week.
From here, Council will vote next Tuesday on whether to release the options for consultation.
There will be a six week communication and consultation period covering two weeks of school holidays, one week of Easter and one week when Ramadan will have commenced.
A preferred option will then be developed and taken to Council later this year. Stay tuned!