Jacksons Hill Master Plan

Jacksons Hill draft master plan

The VPA is has created a draft master plan for the former Victoria University campus at Jacksons Hill, Sunbury.

The draft master plan has been developed throughout 2017 and is based on extensive community and stakeholder consultation. The Phase 1 community engagement report and snapshot are available to view.

The draft master plan includes:

  • A guiding vision and series of place visions
  • 5 principles
  • 6 key moves
  • directions and strategies
  • catalyst projects for the site
  • key actions

You can download the draft master plan here.

Interactive feedback map

The VPA used an interactive map to gather information during Phase 1 community engagement in February and March 2017.

The map has been relaunched for Phase 2 community engagement. It will allow users to leave comments about the key concepts proposed by the draft master plan. You can download instructions on how to use CrowdSpot here

Please click here to launch the interactive map in full screen. This works best when accessing the ideas map on a mobile device.

Feedback on the draft master plan

You are invited to leave feedback on the Jacksons Hill draft master plan. Instructions on having your say can be downloaded here.

Feedback will be open from 1 December 2017 – 11 February 2018. 

You can leave feedback in any of the following ways:

  1. Filling in the form below
  2. Leaving a comment on the CrowdSpot interactive map found here.
  3. Posting your feedback to the Victorian Planning Authority (c/- Jacksons Hill draft master plan) at Level 25, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
Jacksons Hill draft master plan feedback form
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 25MB


Background Information

Victoria University is the current owner of the site.

We have received a number of questions about Victoria University’s decision to close the Sunbury Campus. The VPA asked Victoria University to explain its decision to close the campus and to outline their plans for delivering education into the future.

You can read Victoria University’s response here.

The site is over 32 hectares in area.

Some of the buildings and landscaped areas of the site are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The VPA will work with Heritage Victoria to ensure that the master plan respects the heritage values of the site.

Victoria University is the current owner of Jacksons Hill, which it has been in possession of since 1997 and operated as a university campus. However, in 2009 VU closed the campus, because student enrolments did not reach a level that would make the campus financially viable.

Victoria University would now like to divest of this site. In order for Victoria University to sell the site, some of the land needs to be rezoned and the university requires the Victorian Government’s permission. Without a plan, this striking heritage complex risks falling into disrepair.

Project Information

This is a draft land-use plan, which includes proposals for new uses and development guidelines. The plan aims to balance the suggestions of numerous stakeholders and community members and considers ecological and geographic constraints and heritage features of the site.

Community members are now invited to provide feedback on the draft plan, which the VPA will consider at is prepares the final plan to be submitted to the Minister for Planning.

This plan does not include proposed statutory Amendments to the Hume Planning Scheme. If the Minister for Planning chooses to adopt the final master plan for Jacksons Hill, he might then direct the VPA or DELWP to prepare statutory Amendments to implement the plan.

The draft master plan proposes that the site should have nine distinct areas, which encourage different uses. These areas are:

  • Learn and Play – a place with plentiful open space, recreational facilities and education centres
  • The Landing – a residential precinct
  • The Gateway – a residential precinct
  • Culture and learning precinct – a place for educational buildings, exhibition centres, halls and recreational facilities
  • Jacksons Retreat – a residential precinct
  • Village Heart – a place for educational buildings, exhibition centres, offices, places of worship, nurseries and research centres
  • Main Street – a place for food and drink premises, medical centres, offices and research facilities
  • The Hub – a place with a mix of uses, including function centres, medical offices, educational facilities, hotels and housing
  • The Loft – a place with food and drink premises, function centres, market gardens, residential hotels and taverns.

The plan proposes that buildings not exceed the heights of the heritage buildings that are already on the site.

The draft master plan proposes allowing up to 200 dwellings at the site, which may include townhouses, low-scale apartments and traditional detached homes.

Future Changes

The VPA acknowledges that some people in the community requested that the master plan for Jacksons Hill not allow for residential housing.

While we acknowledge this feedback, the VPA believes that having housing at the site will offer many positive benefits, such as creating a vibrant, bustling area for people.

During the initial consultation, many Sunbury residents expressed concerns that the site was rather isolated, and as a result they felt unsafe in the area. By having people living there, residents will provide passive surveillance and create a warm, neighbourly environment.

In addition, in order to attract private sector development at Jacksons Hill, it is important the site has commercial potential. By allowing for a small number of dwellings to be built at the site, developers will help contribute to the cost of new public open space, landscaping, roads and cycle paths.

This will mean that the majority of the space in the site can be reserved for uses the community members envisioned, including an arts area, food and drink premises, function centres and market gardens.

A master plan is a land-use plan that, when enforced through planning scheme amendments, reserves land for certain uses (ie: retail) and includes guidelines for development.

Applications for specific buildings – such as exhibition centres, community halls, cafes and hotels – are separate to the master plan.

However, the VPA has been facilitating discussions with various government departments, such as the Department of Education and Training and Hume City Council, about opportunities to invest in the site.

There is no set timeline for the development of Jacksons Hill. After this stage of community consultation, the VPA will review all feedback and create the final master plan, to be submitted to the Minister for Planning.

If the Minister approves this plan, planning scheme amendments to enforce the plan would need to be created before development can occur.

If the final master plan is approved by the Minister for Planning and subsequently implemented through a planning scheme amendment, the planning controls will be binding on any current or future owner of the site. The only way to change the planning controls will be through a new planning scheme amendment and associated consultation. Any request for an amendment requires approval from the Minister in order to proceed through an authorisation process.

The uses proposed in the draft plan are unlikely to generate more traffic than when the site operated as a university. The draft plan proposes to widen parts of Circular Drive to accommodate two-way traffic. A new link is proposed to connect The Heights to Boilerhouse Road.

How will the community and local businesses be affected?

In February 2015, Hume City Council endorsed a vision for the Sunbury Community, Arts and Cultural Precinct for an area to the east of Boilerhouse Road at Jacksons Hill. The VPA appreciates that a lot of valuable work has been already done by Council, stakeholders and community members to develop this vision. The master planning process for Jacksons Hill will incorporate this work completed to date.

Community Engagement

On 28 February 2017, the VPA hosted a community ideas workshop about the site, which was attended by 180 people. This event also launched a month-long online interactive ideas map, which allowed users to submit their ‘likes’, ‘issues’, ‘ideas’ and ‘stories’. From March to April 2017, written submissions were also accepted by the VPA project team.

In total, 121 participants actively took part in the interactive map and a further 985 participants accessed the website to learn about the project and read what others were saying.

In addition to the overarching public consultation, the VPA also provided individual briefings on the project to 14 Sunbury community groups and eight stakeholder groups, such as Victoria University and Heritage Victoria.

Feedback during the consultation period generally aligned with the following themes. This is how the VPA addressed community proposals for the area.

  1. Heritage values: This plan proposes that existing buildings are protected and adaptively reused. The plan proposes that developers create an interpretation strategy that includes both Aboriginal and post-contact heritage.
  2. Access and movement: The plan proposes to widen circular drive to enable two-way traffic, connect The Heights to Boilerhouse Road and provide pedestrian and bike paths throughout.
  3. Open space and landscape: This draft plan proposes that a ‘Village Green’ of open space is developed at the centre of the site and a network of green paths and attractive landscaping is incorporated throughout the site. Existing trees must be retained and considered in the design of the open space.
  4. Mix of uses: One of the key proposals for this site is a ‘culture and learning precinct’ – a place for educational buildings, exhibition centres, halls and recreational facilities.
  5. Maintenance and security: By allowing for residential development, the site will have passive surveillance and security will be greatly improved.

You can read the details of Phase 1 community consultation here.

When creating this plan, the VPA aimed to balance suggestions by stakeholder groups and Sunbury community members. Stakeholders included Hume City Council, Victoria University, the Department of Education and Training, the Victorian School Building Authority and Heritage Victoria – to name a few.

This is a complex site and the VPA appreciates that Sunbury residents have a keen interest in the site’s future. While it was not feasible to incorporate all suggestions into the draft master plan, we are confident this plan will result in many positive outcomes, which address many key themes raised during the initial consultation.

Supporting Documentation

Jacksons Hill Community Brochure - November 2017
PDF Version
Community Ideas Workshop - Jacksons Hill master plan presentation (VPA) - February 2017
PDF Version
Community Ideas Workshop - Jacksons Hill Heritage presentation (CHC) - February 2017
PDF Version
Jacksons Hill Master Planning (Victoria University) - February 2017
PDF Version
Jacksons Hill draft master plan - community information session presentation (VPA) - December 2017
PDF Version
Jacksons Hill Master Plan - Phase 1 community engagement report
PDF Version DOCX Version
Jacksons Hill Master Plan - Phase 1 Engagement Snapshot
PDF Version
Jacksons Hill Draft Masterplan - November 2017
PDF Version