Land parcel secured for growing community

Article image - Land parcel secured for growing community Councillor Rob Eldridge, Mayor Rhonda Sanderson and Councillor David Lowe.

After several years of planning, Mitchell Shire Council in Victoria has secured a strategic parcel of land for future recreational and open space use to meet the needs of its booming population.

Mitchell Shire, on the northern fringe of Melbourne, is one of Victoria’s fastest growing municipalities.

Its current population of just over 40,000 is set to grow to 210,000 in the next 30 years.

The land in Wallan purchased by Council for $5.5 million could enable future expansion of regional recreational facilities at the already busy Greenhill Reserve.

The purchase also protects the iconic Greenhill landscape from development, provides the opportunity for much-needed open space in Mitchell’s growth corridor and enhances the potential for a community facilities precinct in Wallan.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the purchase was an excellent example of the benefits of forward planning and early investment to support the needs of the Shire’s growing population.

“Thanks to the work Council did through the Wallan Structure Plan, which was finalised in 2015, we were able to identify and secure this important piece of land that will serve the needs of our communities in the future,” Mayor Sanderson said.

“It was important we purchased this major site now so we could ensure the land was protected for something desperately needed by our growing community – more open space and recreational facilities.

“We also know that our community loves the rolling hills that are such a key feature of our landscape.

“This purchase ensures this community icon is protected and it is an astute purchase ahead of what will be rapidly escalating land prices.”

Mayor Sanderson said the investment had been some years in the planning.

“We will shortly begin to prepare a masterplan based on population projections and what facilities will need to be provided in the development area in the growth corridor.

“Ultimately, community input and ideas will be a major step towards finalising a plan that meets the needs of our evolving community.

“We are also mindful that the land will play a part in the lives of the community that is yet to arrive.”