Wantirna Health Precinct
The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) assisted Department of Transport (DoT) in developing a draft plan and associated planning scheme amendment for surplus government land identified in Wantirna.
The VPA has recently handed over documentation to both Knox City Council and DoT to implement the strategic vision for the precinct. This project will continue to be led by DoT and Knox City Council with VPA assistance and input where required as active case manager.
The VPA is working in partnership with Knox City Council and State Government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the DoT to establish a new integrated health precinct for Wantirna. The land use and development master plan for Wantirna Health Precinct will be informed by specialist technical investigations and key stakeholder and community engagement.
The plan will provide a framework to guide the site’s transition towards a specialised health precinct that includes a wide range of complementary medical services, employment, education and research facilities, training opportunities, accommodation, access and transport. The plan and supporting planning scheme amendment will also facilitate the future development of the DoT land which has been identified as surplus to DoT needs.
In July 2019, the VPA and Council engaged with the community about the key precinct issues and opportunities. The community had four priorities for the precinct:
- Better access in and out of the precinct
- Accessible parks and high-quality amenity
- Minimum impact on the surrounding neighbourhood
- Support for growing local jobs
You can view our full report on community feedback and ideas in the Community Engagement Summary – August 2019 (PDF) here
The Draft Masterplan
In October and November 2019, we released the draft Wantirna Health Precinct Masterplan.
The Draft Masterplan provides a holistic picture for all development across the precinct. The eastern portion controlled by DHHS will remain public land under the Knox Planning Scheme Public Use Zone (PUZ). Development of the public health land will be subject to approval by the Minister for Health. We propose rezoning the rest of the precinct to facilitate the development, with Knox City Council responsible for issuing future planning permits.
The Wantirna Health Precinct is a vibrant, mixed-use community anchored by a new public hospital and nationally competitive health centre for Melbourne’s eastern region. Developed within a green and park-like setting, the precinct offers a natural, nurturing and sustainable environment that promotes health and wellbeing for patients, visitors, workers and residents.
The below image is the Wantirna Health Precinct Masterplan.
In October and November 2019, we invited the community to have its say on the Draft Masterplan.
You can view the results of our community engagement in the Phase 2 Community Engagement Summary – January 2020 (PDF) here
Following community and stakeholder engagement, the Wantirna Health City – Masterplan Report (Tract) April 2020 (PDF) was prepared in April 2020, taking into account feedback received.
A draft Planning Scheme Amendment package was prepared by the VPA and handed over to the DoT (as the major landowner) in July 2020 to manage the amendment process for the Wantirna Health Precinct to be rezoned to a Comprehensive Development Zone.
The full amendment package will be posted on the VPA website once it is finalised by the DoT.
To realise the Vision, the following key ideas will drive future development for the precinct:
Land Use and Built Form
- A vibrant ‘Health City’: anchored by a new public hospital, complemented by education, housing, office and commercial uses.
- Landmark forms: buildings are higher at key corners and gateways and lower where they are adjacent to existing or planned sensitive uses to the west and the south.
- Minimising amenity impacts: e.g. ensuring that buildings do not overshadow or overlook adjoining private residential land and new public open spaces within the precinct.
Landscape and Public Realm
- A Green Spine: open space in the precinct provides connection through the site to maximise its use. The open space is aligned to maximise key views to Dandenong Parklands from the area.
- Network of public spaces: integrating the ‘green spine’ with a central urban square, hospital gardens, wetlands and local parks to enable people to traverse the site through these green spaces and to encourage their use.
- Generous landscape buffers: providing greater green areas along roads and sensitive interfaces to create a Bush Boulevard character and separate pedestrians from busy roads.
Movement and Access
- New signalised intersections at Boronia Road and Mountain Hwy, enabling safe access to the site, whilst providing safe pedestrian crossing points for the community.
- Active modes of transport: allowing multiple walking and cycling options, improved public transport services for safe and convenient travel through and beyond the precinct.
- Minimising impact on the local area by adequate onsite parking provisions, carefully managed vehicle movements and traffic calming measures where necessary.
The majority of the land is owned by the state government, with parcels belonging to Department of Health and Human Services and VicRoads, there is also a parcel in private ownership.
Based on community input provided into the identification of issues and opportunities we have built a better understanding of the place. We have captured key matters to be addressed by the Masterplan and workshopped with Council, State government agencies and authorities and consultants. We now seek community feedback on the Draft Masterplan until 8 November 2019.
Further to the second phase of Community Consultation, the VPA will report the outcome to the Council. VPA will then finalise the Masterplan and prepare a Planning Scheme Amendment package to handover to Department of Transport (DOT). DOT will run the formal amendment process through Government Land Planning Services.
About the precinct
Wantirna Health Precinct is a State significant health precinct and will help to support and complement existing health services in Wantirna and create new opportunities for a wide range of health-related services, employment, education and research.
As identified in Plan Melbourne (2017-2050), the purpose of health and education precincts is to stimulate innovation and create employment. Health and education precincts are of fundamental importance to the emerging knowledge economy and surrounding communities.
Located approximately 25km east of Melbourne CBD within the municipality of Knox, the Wantirna Health Precinct covers approximately 21.8 hectares of land in Wantirna. The site is located immediately to the west of Knox Private Hospital and includes Wantirna Health.
It is generally bounded by Eastlink Reserve to the west, Boronia Road to the north, Mountain Highway to the south-east, and Wantirna Road to the east.
The VPA’s role is to provide a masterplan, an infrastructure funding plan and proposed Planning Scheme Amendment documentation for Wantirna Health Precinct.
To guide the preparation of the Masterplan, the VPA has convened a project steering group consisting of representatives from Knox City Council, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transport and Eastern Health.
The Issues and Opportunities Paper provides an overview of Wantirna Health Precinct to support future land use planning of the site within a wider context. With consideration of planning policy, social and economic context, the paper identifies key issues and opportunities for the site.
This report has formed basis for the first phase of community engagement in July 2019.
In July 2019, the VPA and Council engaged with the community about the key precinct issues and opportunities and the following matters were of primary importance to the community:
- Better access in and out of the precinct,
- Desire for accessible parks and high-quality amenity,
- Minimum impact on the surrounding neighbourhood, and
- Support for growing local jobs.
The feedback and ideas were captured in the Wantirna Health Precinct Community Engagement Summary August 2019, available in the Supporting Documentation below.
The preparation of a Masterplan for Wantirna Health Precinct will provide a framework to guide the site’s transition towards a specialised health precinct that includes a wide range of complementary health services, employment, education and research facilities, housing, access and transport. The plan will help optimise the site opportunities and coordinate development on different land parcels over the long term.
The public health land is in a Public Use Zone (PUZ) and is owned and controlled by DHHS. This land will remain in the PUZ and future development will be subject to approval by the Minister for Health. The remainder of the precinct (DOT and AAG site) is envisaged to be rezoned to facilitate health related uses on site. The rezoning of these sites will be subject to approval by the Minister for Planning. Whilst DHHS site is exempt from planning approvals, land owners of DOT and AAG sites will be able to develop their land in accordance with the Masterplan. Knox City Council will be responsible for issuing future planning permits.
An infrastructure funding plan will set out what transport and community infrastructure required to support the future development. The plan will identify how much money is needed for these items and then the costs will be apportioned to the various land parcels. The infrastructure funding plan will also identify who is responsible for delivering the infrastructure.