Council has formally endorsed the Croydon Community Wellbeing Precinct (CCWP) Masterplan, paving the way for works to commence on a major integrated wellbeing and recreational precinct for the community.
The CCWP Masterplan guides the redevelopment of the precinct, with a focus on improved connectivity of key aspects of the area, including recreational hubs, retail, Croydon Town Square, services and public transport.
Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Mike Symon, said following a presentation of the revised masterplan to key stakeholders in early June 2020, and subsequent feedback during the final stage of community consultation (between 8 June and 13 July), the masterplan was officially endorsed by Council without change at its 27 July meeting.
“Council has completed three significant rounds of community consultation to facilitate the development of the CCWP masterplan and has throughout the entire process engaged with all of the community groups that reside within the existing space,” Cr Symon said.
“From all of our discussions with key user groups and extensive feedback received from those who have participated in our public consultations, we’ve been able to capture the community’s vision for the precinct,” he said.
“This is an exciting first step in what will be a transformative and welcoming wellbeing and recreational space that will deliver substantial benefits to our community, and something we can truly be proud of.
“The new precinct will create opportunities for social connection, improved health and wellbeing, linkages to our cultural heritage, as well as flexibility to meet current and future needs of the community,” Cr Symon added.
The redevelopment of the precinct will be undertaken using a staged approach that will occur progressively, subject to available funding and further design work.
The first stage of the project is expected to begin late this year. This will involve the temporary relocation of community groups, the demolition of some facilities, and the subsequent construction of a Community Wellbeing Hub. The Federal Government has contributed $2 million towards the cost of the first stage of works, which is estimated at $20 million.
Retaining ‘village feel’ aspect
Cr Symon said subsequent design work for the precinct would carefully balance the interests of the community and the important need to protect the area’s native flora and fauna.
“In particular, the location of the community wellbeing hubs has been determined based on the need to preserve and retain any significant trees and vegetation that serve as habitat to native wildlife. In addition, the use of sustainable design principles, such as solar power generation and water re-use, will seek to further reduce any negative impacts on the environment,” he said.
“The further designing of this precinct will also be undertaken in a way that is sensitive to the cultural and heritage significance of the area, as well as ensuring that the unique ‘village feel’ of Croydon is not only retained but enhanced,” Cr Symon said.
Community consultation on revised masterplan
The third and final stage of community consultation was undertaken between 8 June and 13 July 2020, following a presentation of the revised masterplan to the stakeholder consultation group, which comprises key representatives of all the community groups that reside within the precinct (in a series of meetings based on the COVID-19 restrictions at the time).
Consultation involved a range of community engagement methods including Council’s online portal ‘Your Say Maroondah‘, hard copy surveys and face-to-face pop-up sessions.
Of the combined feedback approximately 70% were ‘positive’, 16% ‘neutral’, 11% ‘negative’, with 3% being ‘mixed’.
Project to meet population growth
Cr Symon said that with Maroondah’s population projected to exceed 146,000 people by the year 2041, population growth needed to be approached in a way that is responsive to social needs and demographic change.
“Maroondah is continually growing and changing. By 2041, our population is projected to reach 146,335 – that’s another 25,117 people (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019). Council has a role in helping to plan for and sustain healthy and active communities through providing accessible, coordinated, well-designed community infrastructure.
“Integrated community facilities are a vital component of creating healthy communities which support inclusion and enhance residents’ wellbeing. Communities with access to high-quality social infrastructure have better access to services and more opportunities participate in community life,” Cr Symon said.
“On behalf of Council, I am delighted to present the final masterplan to the community.”