A New Heart for Moreland

Article image - A New Heart for Moreland

Bold plans to transform Coburg into the ‘lifestyle capital of the northern suburbs’ of Melbourne are set to become a reality through the realisation of Moreland City Council’s Central Coburg 2020 Structure Plan over the coming years.

The plan provides an opportunity to create a vibrant, high quality environment with more services for the Moreland community. The plan sets out a long term framework to revitalise the Coburg Activity Centre and includes the redevelopment of the Coburg Shopping Centre and the former Pentridge Prison. It is the result of five years’ consultation with the Coburg community, traders, landowners, State Government agencies and other stakeholders. The process involved receiving knowledge, support and feedback on the ideas outlined in the draft plan, as well as a steering committee to guide the plan.

With the final version of the plan adopted by Moreland City Council in August 2006, the hard work of implementing the structure plan has begun.

“Having consulted extensively with the community and agreed on a plan, we will now start implementing the community’s vision and deliver outcomes,” said Moreland Mayor, Councillor Mark O’Brien. “Council is really excited about this new direction for Central Coburg – we can see it becoming a vital, alive centre from day to night. A centre that has evolved through careful, integrated planning and achieves accessibility for all within environmentally sustainable development.”

Moreland CEO Peter Brown said the implementation of the structure plan is a priority for Council in the years ahead.

“We are looking for support and cooperation and shared responsibility from the State Government, the private sector and the community,” he said.

Council has already demonstrated its commitment to the implementation of the structure plan, by purchasing the Bi-Lo (Coles) supermarket site in the existing Coburg Shopping Hub for
$9.3 million, giving it control over the store and surrounding carpark.

Peter Brown described the purchase of the Bi-Lo site as an important first step towards creating a $1 billion retail and community hub.

“It will be a catalyst for other developments that will achieve the vision of an enhanced and vibrant activity centre,” he said.

A primary objective of the Central Coburg 2020 Structure Plan is to improve public transport access to and through the centre, and make Central Coburg a people friendly precinct. The proposed interchange will mean the integration of train, tram and bus services at and around the existing Coburg railway station. This will provide improved access and facilities for passengers of public transport, and improved movement between train, tram and bus services, bringing more people into the centre, increasing retail trade and making the area pleasant and safe.

Further community consultation will be undertaken as components of the structure plan are implemented. A variety of mechanisms will be used by Council to ensure that the community is aware of opportunities to provide input into the implementation of the plan over the coming years.

Council has begun work on structure plans for Brunswick and Glenroy. Together, the three centres will serve the growing and changing needs of the Moreland community, and increased activity in these areas will ensure that all residents have access to vibrant, mixed use, pedestrian friendly and community focused areas.

Key features of the Central Coburg 2020 plan include:

  • improved retail and shopping, with the provision for an additional 65,000 square metres of commercial or retail
    floor space
  • 1,400 new jobs for Moreland citizens
  • more than 10,000 new jobs during the construction phase
  • more than $900 million invested in construction over the project’s lifespan
  • the provision for 3,000 new dwellings in the centre, adding to the vitality of the public realm
  • integration of community facilities and improved access to public transport
  • controlled development along Sydney Road shopping strip to preserve its unique character
  • improved certainty for new development for both developers and residents
  • new and improved public meeting places
  • improved access to green open space
  • improved pedestrian linkages.