Sunbury locals will have a new village green, arts hub and bustling new neighbourhood on Jacksons Hill, with the Victorian Government purchasing the site from Victoria University to return most of it to community use.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has also approved the new master plan.
The purchase of the 33-hectare historic site and the final approval of the Jacksons Hill Master Plan will enable commencement of the three projects funded in the Victorian Budget 2018/19:
- $10.8 million for the renovation of the Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School, including expansion of the school into two of the site’s heritage buildings
- $3 million for the development of a community arts precinct around the Boiler house
- $3.5 million to upgrade the Sunbury Primary School.
Hume City Council will take ownership or manage various parts of the site, which will be used for a Community Arts Precinct and open space. A large area of existing open space has been reserved for future education use.
The master plan defines nine precincts with individual visions to provide for a mix of uses and development. Each precinct will have a distinct character but will contribute to the overall vision for the site.
The heritage buildings will be preserved and adapted for new uses. Several of the precincts will be adapted for housing, and new buildings will be at the same height or lower than existing buildings to protect the site’s character.
The Victorian Planning Authority worked with local community groups over 18 months to help shape the final plan to guide future land use at the site.
The principles guiding development of the plan include celebrating heritage values, strengthening the education, community and arts offering, improving access to the site and surrounding areas, and high-quality design.
A new subdivision will now be prepared along with a planning scheme amendment to implement the master plan. Current tenancy arrangements with community groups will be extended during this period.