Amendment C232 to the Hume Planning Scheme
Amendment C232 makes changes to the Hume Planning Scheme to include the Jacksons Hill Master Plan as a reference document. The master plan was approved by the Minister for Planning and gazetted on the 8 November 2018.
Planning for Jacksons Hill
Jacksons Hill is an integral part of the Sunbury community. The 32 hectare site holds significance to its traditional Aboriginal owners and its impressive redbrick buildings have historically been used as for a variety of purposes, including a mental health facility and more recently, a university.
The master plan provides a guiding vision for Jacksons Hill and will propose for the site to have distinct precincts with their own character and uses.
You can view the final master plan and the Phase 1 and Phase 2 community engagement reports below:
Phase 1 community engagement report (June 2017)
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.
A master plan will provide certainty and clarity to outline future development on the site.
Jacksons Hill is a 32-hectare site in Sunbury that includes many striking red brick and bluestone heritage buildings and picturesque landscaped gardens.
Victoria University has been in possession of the site since 1997 and ran it as a university campus. However, in 2009 Victorian University closed the campus, because student enrolments did not reach a level that would make the campus financially viable.
The site will be redeveloped for community, education and residential uses in accordance with the master plan’s vision.
The site is over 32 hectares in area.
A master plan is a land-use plan that, when enforced through planning scheme amendments, reserves land for certain uses and includes guidelines for development. It includes direction on traffic movements, allocation of spaces, and provision of open space and key facilities.
Jacksons Hill is a historical site in Sunbury, Victoria. The 32 hectare site holds significance to its traditional Aboriginal owners and its impressive redbrick buildings have historically been used as a mental health facility, and university. It currently hosts a variety of uses, including schools, residential properties, and community spaces such as a performing arts theatre and a radio station.
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, a sense of community will establish and safety will improve.
In order to attract private sector residential development at Jacksons Hill, it is important that the site has commercial potential. By allowing a small component of housing to be built at the site, developers will help contribute to the cost of new public open space, landscaping, roads and cycle paths.
New buildings will not exceed the height of existing buildings on the site. In some areas, new buildings will also be significantly lower than existing building heights. This is to respect the landscape of Jacksons Hill and the existing heritage buildings.
The master plan encourages existing buildings registered under the Victorian Heritage Register to be protected and adaptively reused, where possible. CHC architects produced the Jacksons Hill Adaptive Reuse Study (published on the VPA website), which presents strategies for how buildings on site can be adapted for new uses. A small number of non-heritage listed buildings on the site may be considered for removal, however any removal would still require Heritage Victoria approval.
Changes to the broader road network are beyond the scope of the Jacksons Hill master planning process. However, improvements will be made for vehicles in the new development. Circular Drive will be upgraded to accommodate two-way traffic, and a new link will connect The Heights to Boilerhouse Road.
The master plan proposes that Circular Drive be widened to accommodate two-way traffic, including the capacity for buses. The provision of bus services will subject to assessment of public transport needs by Public Transport Victoria in line with its network planning.
The planning for Jacksons Hill will encourage detached houses, townhouses and low-scale apartments to be developed in certain areas of the site. Some existing heritage buildings may be adapted for apartments.
The Jacksons Hill Master Plan has been finalised and approved by the Minister for Planning. It is now a reference document in the Hume Planning Scheme. Specific planning controls for the site are likely to be prepared as part of a future amendment and included in the Hume Planning Scheme.
Key features of the master plan include:
- A new arts and creative industries precinct
- Upgrades to the Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School and Sunbury Primary School
- Widening Circular Drive to enable two-way traffic
- Connecting The Heights to Boilerhouse Road
- Providing new pedestrian and bike paths
- Allowing the development of residential dwellings in some areas
- Creating a new main street for Jacksons Hill
- Setting building heights to match existing heritage buildings
- Creating a ‘Village green’ open space at the centre of the site.
Up to 200 dwellings are proposed for the site, which may include townhouses, low-scale apartments and traditional detached homes.
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 has incorporated this work.
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 development to commence at Jacksons Hill. The master plan has now been finalised and has become a reference document under the Hume Planning Scheme. Specific planning controls for the site are likely to now be prepared and included in the Hume Planning Scheme.
The VPA and Hume City Council will be sure to keep stakeholders and the community informed with any updates.
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