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Key details

Location 
Corner of Burwood Highway and Scoresby Road, Knoxfield

Policy objective
Housing

Overview

We are creating a vibrant new neighbourhood in Knoxfield, with diverse housing and open recreational spaces for the community to enjoy. 

The site at 609-621 Burwood Highway was formerly used as a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) horticultural research facility. As the Victorian Government’s property developer, we are revitalising the site to deliver much needed housing, open space as well as a mixed use zone which could include such things as retail and other services for the community.

Following extensive development work and community consultation, we have now lodged permit applications with Knox City Council for the first two stages of the residential subdivision and the proposed wetland. Subject to a range of approvals, sales and construction are planned to commence in 2023.

Register your details to be kept up to date on the project.

To register your details please email knoxfield@development.vic.gov.au and outline your preference for updates on the overall project, the wetland proposal or house sales.

Knoxfield proposed wetland staged construction plan

Download the five-stage construction process here.

A Thriving New Wetlands for Knoxfield

We've been working with a team of experts to develop the design for our new wetlands, to provide a safe and healthy future for local wildlife - including the endangered Blue-Billed Duck.

Hear from the team about the plan for a better habitat and open spaces for the whole community to enjoy.

Dam repair and maintenance works update

We are also committed to delivering a new vibrant and functioning wetland system on the site to protect and enhance the natural habitat, including that of the endangered Blue-billed Duck.

Independent dam assessments carried out in December 2021 highlighted that the dam’s structure continues to deteriorate. This dam now requires urgent repair and maintenance works to be carried out to reduce any community safety risks - including the possibility of flooding. These will take place from March 2022. The local community will be kept updated as these works progress.

Learn more about the proposed wetland.

19.2ha project area

10% affordable housing proposed

1 mixed use area for small retail & community spaces

Timeline

Who is Development Victoria?
    Development Victoria is a statutory corporation responsible for undertaking urban renewal, property development and major projects on behalf of the Victorian government. We work with the private sector to deliver projects across the state, creating great spaces for Victorians in which to live, work and play. We’re experts in property development (residential and commercial), precinct renewal and civic infrastructure.
    2019
    • First phase of community engagement - four focus groups held to understand the community’s needs and wants for Knoxfield 
    2020

    • Draft master plan developed by project and consultant team, incorporating community feedback
    • Community engagement seeking feedback on the draft master plan 
    • Community working group established 
    2021

    • Planning application lodged for stages 1 and 2 subdivision and the wetland area 

    2022
    • Ongoing repair and maintenance work to the dam  
    2023
    • Sales and construction of initial stages, subject to approvals 
    • Subdivision lodgement of following stages 

    What we are doing

    The site will deliver a diverse range of housing options close to jobs, services and transport. Housing will primarily be medium density townhouses with a range of two to four bedrooms.

    It will also offer mixed-use development opportunities to benefit local residents, businesses and the wider community.

    We are committed to: 

    • Delivering a minimum 10% affordable housing product for moderate-income earners.  
    • Offering up to 5% of dwellings for purchase to a Registered Housing Association  
    • Participating in the Homes for Homes scheme which allows a voluntary tax deductable donation of the sale of participating homes towards building homes for individuals in need of shelter. 
    • Committing to the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Communities rating tool for the site. Green Star Communities aims to provide national consistency and a common language around the definition of best practice sustainable communities.
    • Working towards delivering best practice and carbon neutrality across the site.  
    • Partnering with the Green Building Council of Australia to pilot its new Green Star Homes standard on the site. The standard is a key tool to drive transformation in the residential sector and create a market for healthier, more resilient, energy efficient homes.

    We have a proven track record of delivering enhanced and thriving waterbodies throughout Victoria.

     

    Central to the Knoxfield development will be an improved wetland area with an enhanced habitat for the endangered Blue-Billed duck and other local species. Learn more about the wetland. 

    Location

    The Knoxfield site is superbly  ideally located to local amenities and transportation with easy access to Burwood Highway and the Monash Freeway - as well as key bus links. It neighbours Fairhills High School and is within close proximity to a number of schools and TAFE campuses, the site offers excellent educational opportunities for local families. 

    Importantly, the site provides direct access to Blind Creek with excellent pedestrian and cycle pathways to local amenities. Our goal is to embed these links within the site to create a connected and pedestrian friendly neighbourhood.  

    Who to contact about this project

    For more information about the project, community events or to provide feedback please contact us at
    knoxfield@development.vic.gov.au or phone 03 8317 3400.

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    Community engagement

    Since announcing the project we have engaged with the local community in relation to the development of the Knox Central Structure Plan, the rezoning of the Knoxfield site and Development Victoria's masterplan proposal.

    In mid-2019 four focus group sessions were held, followed by pop-up information sessions in late 2019 to help understand views and aspirations for the site. Representing a diverse sample of residents, 48 participants highlighted key themes for consideration in development of the site, including:

    • Enhance existing flora and fauna 
    • Improve public access to the new wetland with pathways, seating and viewing platforms 
    • Consider bike paths to Blind Creek 
    • Manage traffic and parking and consider a second entry/exit point into the site 
    • Deliver affordable, quality housing with a focus on sustainable design 
    • Consider the needs of downsizers and the elderly in housing design 
    • Deliver green, leafy open spaces with high levels of amenity including native trees and grasses.

    We took this feedback on board to enhance the draft masterplan and design a neighbourhood that best meets the community’s needs.

    In 2020 we sought feedback on the draft Masterplan through online community workshops and an online survey. 

    We established a community working group (CWG) to play an important role in shaping the new neighbourhood and delivering a great outcome for the site. The responses and comments collected are now being incorporated into the draft master plan that will guide the future development. 


    Blue-billed Duck update

    After receiving reports in early 2021 of Blue-billed Duck breeding on the dam our ecologist, Ecocentric Environmental Consulting, has since visited and pleasingly confirmed the presence of a Blue-billed Duckling on the site. Since undertaking regular assessments of the site in 2014, this is the first recorded evidence of a Blue-billed Duckling at the existing dam.

    Our ecologist has continued to monitor the site and in early 2022 reported additional Blue-billed Duck sightings. We will continue to attend the site to monitor the behaviour of the duckling and ensure there are no works being undertaken on site which could impact any potential duck breeding. The full ecological reports are available in the resources tab.

    Background to Wetland Design

    There’s been lots of interest in our proposed wetland at Knoxfield and what it will mean for the community and the environment.

    When we first started our master planning for the Knoxfield project our first consideration was to try to keep the existing dam as we knew it was significant to the community. Importantly, we knew it was already home to a number of different species including the Blue-billed Duck.

    We asked expert ecologists and hydrologists to review the existing dam and the options available. We asked them to consider community safety, the ecological and environmental contribution of the dam and other features required by the development. The advice was clear and recommended the removal of the unsafe existing dam and the development of new wetlands to enhance the current habitat for fauna to provide an accessible and safe experience for the community. The proposed wetlands design was also recommended to mitigate flooding and provide stormwater treatment to help improve the health of our waterways.

    One thing is clear and that is our commitment to deliver wetlands which will be good for the community and the environment, protect and enhance the natural habitat, including that of the endangered Blue-billed Duck, and provide safe access for the community.

    We want to give the Blue-billed Duck and other species the best opportunity to thrive on site. To achieve this, the new wetlands have been designed with the ducks at front of mind, backed by comprehensive advice of experts in this area.

     View the supporting background reports.

    It should be noted that regardless of the Knoxfield Development the dam will still need to be drained to facilitate the necessary repairs to allow it to remain onsite. 

    The new wetland

    Central to the new Knoxfield community will be a new wetland area with enhanced habitat for wetland flora and fauna.  It remains our priority to enhance the natural habitat for the endangered, Blue-billed Duck to entice the species to stay and breed at the wetland. 
    The proposed new wetland is expected to significantly improve the water quality, and in turn improve the available breeding and nesting habitat for the Blue-billed Duck. This breeding habitat is currently limited on site. The new wetland will provide a healthier and safer waterbody for the Blue-billed Duck and other wildlife. 

    Wildlife transition

    Carefully staged construction will enable vegetation to be established in the new wetland prior to any works on the existing dam. This will also allow the wildlife currently using the existing dam to transition to the new wetland during the overall construction process.

    Once construction of the new open wetland at the northern end of the site is finished, technical experts will, where possible, carefully relocate the flora and aquatic species from the current dam to the new wetland. Allowing the vegetation in the new wetland to establish first will also enable water birds currently using the site to relocate to the new wetland.

    As the Blue-billed Duck is a shy species it is not certain it will migrate to the new wetland within the 12- month transition period and there may be a gap in its presence from the site. 

    The wetland however has been designed with the Blue-billed Duck in mind, particularly providing better breeding habitat and we do expect its ultimate return when the wetland matures.

    The new wetland will be developed through a staged redevelopment with construction of open water habitat in the northeast of the site prior to any redevelopment of the dam for Water Sensitive Urban Design treatment systems and provision of Blue-billed Duck breeding habitat. Development Victoria will work closely with an expert team, as well as other industry experts and the community where possible, to ensure the timing of construction and the establishment period is appropriate.

    Updated on 13 May 2022