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Former School Sites

What is happening with the three former school sites?

The Victorian State Government, through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, which is now known as the Department of Education, closed the three former school sites and then sold them to Banyule Council in August 2013. The former school sites were once known as:

  • Haig Street Primary School - 52 Haig Street, Heidelberg Heights
  • Bellfield Primary School - 229 Banksia Street, Ivanhoe
  • Banksia La Trobe Secondary College - 230 Banksia Street, Bellfield

When it bought the three sites, Council’s intention was, subject to community support and appropriate planning permits, to appropriately redevelop each site.

What about educational needs in the area?

While Council is not responsible for delivering primary, secondary and tertiary education, it strongly supports improving, enhancing and providing more educational facilities within Banyule and will continue to advocate this position. The Victorian State Government is the lead agency for education. Any residents who share Council’s concern about local education are encouraged to contact the Victorian State Government through their local Member of Parliament.

How the school sites will be developed?

Each of the three former school sites is different in terms of geography, physical characteristics and local surrounds. Careful planning is therefore required to respond to existing site conditions, local context and community needs. While most of the land has been set aside for medium density residential use, part of the former Banksia Secondary College is zoned Public Use Zone Local Government (PUZ) and appropriate community use opportunities will be explored. This planning needs to be done in the context of nearby landholdings and other neighbouring sites.

Visit Related Information located on the top right hand corner of this page for more information.

What zoning applies to these sites?

The former school sites have been rezoned Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) .These sites are considered strategic infill sites and this zoning will support the proposed medium density housing. Part of the former Banksia Secondary College site has been zoned Public Use Zone Local Government (PUZ). It is important to remember that any development will still need to be assessed on its merits via planning permit application processes.

What is medium density housing?

Medium density housing typically consists of a range of housing types. These generally includes single and double storey detached and semi-detached townhouses and terrace homes. It also includes some smaller units and low-rise apartment living in appropriate locations such as the Banksia Street precinct. This variety of housing appeals to a broader range of people and encourages diversity and responds to differing community needs.

Will there be any community engagement?

Yes – Banyule Council is keeping the local community informed of plans for future development through a combination of letter drops, community meetings, media releases and updates on our website. Comments, questions and feedback are always welcome. Stay tuned via the Related information section at the top right of this page.

What about car parking?

Council will ensure that adequate parking is provided. Any new development will provide dedicated off-street car parks and adequate visitor parking as well as using existing streets surrounding the sites. The development of specific traffic assessments will also take place during the planning permit application stages.

Will the existing trees be retained?

Trees contribute to neighbourhood character and soften the visual impact of buildings. Trees of high retention value have been retained wherever possible and will be incorporated into plans for each site.

What is the likely front setback of new homes to existing streets?

Front setbacks to new buildings are important because setbacks provide space for establishing front gardens and for growing trees. For this reason, development proposals will have regard to the existing setbacks in the street and allow for retention of existing high value trees where ever possible.

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