Berwick Health and Education Precinct
Berwick Health and Education Precinct has been identified as a project on the VPA’s Fast Track Program. The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is providing greater resources and prioritisation to finalise the project’s approval. The VPA is working with the Minister of Planning and the Minister of Higher Education and Skills, to ensure a secure future for higher education in the precinct. These discussions will inform a final decision on a planning scheme amendment (Amendment C207).
- Part 1: Clyde Road and land south of the railway line – Approval pending
- Part 2: Evans & Margaret Street precinct – Approved by the Minister for Planning and gazetted on the 18 June 2020 under Amendment C207pt2case to the Casey Planning Scheme. To view a copy of the approved documents, refer to Amendment C207pt2case
About the precinct
The Berwick Health and Education Precinct covers approximately 122 hectares of land in Berwick, located either side of Clyde Road, north of Princes Freeway and south of Berwick Village. Ultimately, the precinct is anticipated to accommodate up to 8,500 jobs, 11,300 students, 751 hospital beds and 1,000 high density dwellings.
Recent developments in the precinct include;
The Comprehensive Development Plan is a long-term plan for urban development. It describes how land is expected to be developed and how land uses may change over time to create an employment hub of intense activity. It also includes where and how additional services, utilities and transport infrastructure are planned to support future development.
The Comprehensive Development Zone is a formal planning tool that formalises the allowable uses within the precinct to ensure any development of land is in accordance with the CDP.
A ‘mixed-use’ precinct is an area that has a variety of uses. In the case of this precinct, it will have higher density housing, commercial and retail services and facilities to support employment areas.
The Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) is considered a substantial change area where medium density housing growth and diversity of housing types is encouraged for example townhouses and apartments around activity centres and close to train stations. There are also a limited range of non-residential uses allowed to serve local community needs.
The Berwick Health and Education Precinct covers approximately 122 hectares of land in Berwick, located on Clyde Road and bounded by the Pakenham railway, and Monash Freeway. Amendment C207 also includes land designated for Residential Growth Zone to the west of Clyde Road around Margaret, Evan and parts of Mansfield and Jane Streets.
This area is designated as a Health and Education Precinct within the state government strategic document – Plan Melbourne 2017-2050. This area is well-connected with access to transport infrastructure at Berwick train station, Monash Freeway, Clyde Road and located in proximity to Berwick Village to the north.
The VPA has worked with Casey City Council to create a future urban structure plan for the Berwick Health and Education Precinct to facilitate development and support job growth and services within the health and education sector.
The main elements of the plan include:
- development of allied health and educational services
- mixed-use development at the heart of the precinct
- new office development along Princes Freeway
- land allocated for light industry/manufacturing
- a new waterway open space corridor and local park
- extensive cycle paths, including a future cycle/ pedestrian bridge over Princes Freeway connecting to Sweeney Reserve
- improved access to Berwick Station
- intersection upgrades along Clyde Road to facilitate safer pedestrian movement
- a new intersection on Clyde Road
A new intersection at Clyde Road south of Kangan Drive will be required to cater for increased traffic generated by the CDP. There will be upgrades to two other intersections along Clyde Road, at Enterprise Avenue and Kangan Drive/Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard that are required to improve connectivity east-west across Clyde Road, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. There will be several new cycle paths in the precinct that will connect Berwick train station to key institutions and areas of activity.
Improvements to the drainage system and the existing road network including upgrades to Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard and intersections at Clyde Road will be developer funded. It is anticipated that an Infrastructure Contribution Plan (ICP) would also be introduced at a later stage that could fund basic and essential local infrastructure required by any new community.
The land within the Evan-Margaret Street precinct is identified as a substantial change area within Casey City Council’s Housing Strategy (September 2016) and therefore recommended for the Residential Growth Zone due to its proximity to Berwick Village, Berwick Station and the Berwick Health and Education Precinct.
Within the Evan-Margaret Street Precinct building heights of up to 5 storeys will be permitted on lots greater than 2000 sqm in area. Residential development would be subject to setback requirements as set out in the draft Schedule to the zone and any additional requirements set out within ResCode (Refer amendment documents – draft Schedule 2 to Clause 32.07).
In March 2016, Amendment C207 was placed on hold following the decision by Monash University to vacate their Berwick campus. This was followed by an announcement in early 2017 that Federation University would take over the university premises at Berwick campus.
To accommodate this change in land ownership and to respond to submissions already received, the VPA has revised the comprehensive development plan and zoning controls for land within the Berwick Health and Education Precinct and the Evan-Margaret Street Precinct.
Any previous submissions received in response to the November 2015 amendment still stand. Submitters to the earlier amendment may make an additional submission and/or change their original submission in response to the updated plan and zone controls.
The VPA and Casey Council support upgrades to the Berwick Train Station as a Premium station, which operates as both an origin and destination station, due to its connections to state significant health and educational institutions within Berwick.
The level crossing at Clyde Road is planned to be removed by the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) by 2022 and is currently in its early planning stages. Upgrades to the Berwick Train Station will be subject to the ultimate resolution of this grade separation.
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