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Key details


Policy objective
Urban renewal


We are leading the development of the final stage of Cairnlea, a 41ha site which sits along Cairnlea Drive and Ballarat Road, with the aim of creating a new residential neighbourhood. 

The vision for the final Stage of Cairnlea is to regenerate the site to deliver more affordable housing opportunities and a network of open spaces that are complemented by a variety of neighbourhood services. The design will be strongly influenced by forward-thinking and environmentally focused initiatives to help create a vibrant and sustainable community.


The site is bordered by the M80, Ballarat Road and Cairnlea Drive.


The Cairnlea master plan was developed in the late 1990s and the final stage of Cairnlea was initially planned to be a Business Precinct.

This master plan was revised in 2013—14 and in response to community feedback, the plan was updated to provide more land for new homes in the final stage of Cairnlea.

In September 2016, the Minister for Planning approved Amendment C120 to the Brimbank Planning Scheme, which rezoned the final stage of Cairnlea for residential use, public open spaces and a small area to facilitate commercial uses.

Development Victoria is currently defining the development vision for the site and developing a planning framework which reflect current State and Local Government Policy.

To prepare for the future community, Development Victoria is undertaking soil analysis of the site to ensure it's suitable for residential use.

All remediation works will be completed to the same high standards achieved during the delivery of the existing Cairnlea estate. All Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements will be strictly adhered to.

The existing trees on the site are also being monitored following an arborist report which found some mature Sugar Gum trees on this site are a hazard. They will be progressively removed if they become a risk.

Development Victoria intends to replace any trees removed with more appropriate tree species to create improved landscape reserves and green corridors.

Who to contact about this project

To join the Cairnlea project mailing list, email your details to or call 03 8317 3400.

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Cairnlea is situated on the site of the former Albion Explosives Factory, a Commonwealth Department of Defence facility that operated from the early 1940s until the 1980s.

Development Victoria (then VicUrban) entered into an agreement with the Department of Defence to remediate the site, and deliver housing and open space. Cairnlea has been successfully transformed with 3,100 residential lots with almost a third of the suburb devoted to public open space and grassland reserves.


Development Victoria has already delivered:

  • An extensive storm water harvesting and recyclingscheme, with the potential to save up to 160,000 kilolitres of potable waterper year
  •  Regenerated streams and creek systems thatsupport increased bird and aquatic life
  • Remnant grasslands integrated into the design ofthe estate
  • Boardwalks, parklands and picnic areas
  • Sports grounds
  • Cycling and walking tracks

Innovation and awards

Cairnlea received the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Land Management in Landscape Architecture award in 2008.

The Cairnlea redevelopment demonstrates how an environmentally degraded site can be transformed via land management techniques, and regenerated into a new residential development.

Cairnlea was also the site of the Ecohome project, a collaboration between VicUrban, RMIT and Metricon Homes, which aimed to demonstrate the application of environmental principles for individual home owners

Engaging with the community

In April 2020 you let us know your views and aspirations for the new neighbourhood through a survey. You can read the summary survey results.

Your feedback – along with a range of technical investigations – is being used to help inform preliminary designs for the site. To register for updates email or call 1800 783 668. 

A project fact sheet was distributed to the local community:

There will be more opportunities to talk with the project team as the planning and design process continues throughout 2021 and beyond. 

For more information


Phone: 1800 783 668