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.
Today Cairnlea has been successfully developed with 3100 residential lots with almost a third of the suburb devoted to public open space and grassland reserves. The community features:
- Picnic areas
- Sports grounds
- Cycling and walking tracks
Future development – The final stage of Cairnlea commencing soon
Background on the final stage of Cairnlea
In September 2016, the Minister for Planning approved Amendment C120 to the Brimbank Planning Scheme, rezoned the land for residential use, with a small commercial area on the corner of Ballarat Road and Cairnlea Drive, and public open space. View the amendment here.
To prepare for the future community, Development Victoria is undertaking soil analysis of the site to determine the extent of works required to ensure the site is suitable for residential use.
Any remediation works required will be completed to the same high standards achieved during the delivery of the existing Cairnlea estate, to ensure that all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements are 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 are being monitored and will be progressively removed as they become a risk. Development Victoria intends to replace these trees with more appropriate tree species set within improved landscape reserves and green corridors.
Innovation and awards
Cairnlea received the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Land Management in Landscape Architecture award in 2008. Cairnlea demonstrates how an environmentally degraded site can be transformed through the successful integration of land management techniques and regenerated into a new residential development. The estate features:
- An extensive storm water harvesting and recycling scheme which was designed with the potential to save up to 160,000 kilolitres of potable water a year;
- Regenerated streams and creek systems which have encouraged increased bird and aquatic life;
- Remnant grasslands integrated into the design of the estate.