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.
The site has been remediated to a high standard since being vacated the Department of Defence and holds an EPA issued Statement of Environmental Audit permits the land for commercial uses.
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:
- A strong community base – the residents’ association successfully lobbied for Cairnlea to be recognised as a suburb in its own right
- Picnic areas
- Sports grounds
- Cycling and walking tracks
Development Victoria will undertake soil testing of the site known as the Reid Street Landfill to further develop our understanding of the site and to determine the extent, if any, of any additional works required to ensure the site is suitable for residential use. Soil testing activities will be carried out between early August and September involving sinking bores into the site to remove samples.
Innovation and awards
- 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.
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.