Council seeks community feedback on Suburban Rail Loop design, open space and connectivity advocacy
24 November 2021
A visionary plan to make the most of the proposed Suburban Rail Loop has been developed by Kingston Council to demonstrate the potential for high-quality community and environmental outcomes that could be achieved by the project.
Kingston Council’s draft plans identify increased green open space opportunities, strong pedestrian and cycling links, better connections with existing public transport and climate-responsive design for the new train station precinct next to Southland and the proposed train stabling yard in Heatherton.
The project will be delivered by the Suburban Rail Loop Authority as part of a $35 billion underground train loop that will connect Cheltenham SRL Station (located in Sir William Fry Reserve, Highett) to jobs, hospitals, education institutions and businesses at Clayton, Monash University, Glen Waverley, Deakin University and Box Hill.
Kingston Mayor Steve Staikos said Council developed its plans using community input and design experts to ensure the best possible outcomes are identified early on in the project.
“The SRL will shape the face of Kingston for many years to come and will transform the way many of us travel,” Cr Staikos said.
“We want to create a constructive vision for how the project could be delivered while also securing local benefits our community.”
Deputy Mayor and Wattle Ward Councillor, Jenna Davey-Burns said Council’s designs were being exhibited for community consultation to help guide Council’s submission to the Environmental Effects Statement hearings on the Suburban Rail Loop project early next year.
“Community consultation is a priority for Council and we’re checking back in with our community to get their feedback on our draft designs and ideas,” Cr Davey-Burns said.
“Kingston has a strong history of working in partnership with the Victorian Government to achieve positive community outcomes, and this city-transforming project is a unique opportunity to embrace world best practice on this intergenerational project.”
Kingston Council’s alternative designs are open for community feedback until Tuesday 14 December at www.yourkingstonyoursay.com.au
Early concept plans released by the Suburban Rail Loop Authority show around a third of Sir William Fry Reserve (next to Southland) will be used for the station building and potential future development.
A train stabling yard is also proposed for the Delta site on Kingston Road in Heatherton, which has resulted in strong community opposition.
Karkarook Ward Councillor Hadi Saab said Council and many community members are fighting to see this site retained for the Chain of Parks and a regional sporting facility. “This site was set aside in 1994 to ensure the dream of the Sandbelt Open Space Strategy would one day become a reality, and we will not give up on that dream” Cr Saab said.
“If, however, the train stabling yard does proceed, we believe the early designs for the facility should be changed to protect local residents, and the government must honour its promise to deliver the Chain of Parks.” Cr Saab said.
Council’s design ideas for the Sir William Fry Reserve site include a solution that:
- Integrates parkland with the station/development area to retain views and green space
- Creates better pedestrian connections from Highett to Cheltenham and within the park, station and Southland areas of the precinct
- Provides convenient pick-up and drop-off locations
- Improves bus connections and includes a bus-friendly ‘loop road’ to assist with traffic flow
- Includes additional station entries and an underground connection from Southland precinct to the new SRL station
- Creates more open spaces including a market square, urban common within the station precinct and additional open space within the former Highett Gasworks site
- Provides additional on-street parking/loading areas
- Integrates Council’s new concept plan for Sir William Fry Reserve featuring a new skate park, open space, reshaped lake, trees, paths, dog park and BBQs
- Provides opportunities for community services such as a state-of-the-art library
If the train stabling yard does proceed at the Delta site in Heatherton, Council’s designs include the following improvements to help minimise the impact on neighbouring homes, make the site more visually appealing and climate-responsive by creating more green open spaces:
- Building green roofs over the train stabling lines and maintenance building to create publicly accessible open space and provide a more attractive appearance and to help mitigate noise and light pollution
- Landscape mounding to deflect noise and conceal security fencing
- Cancelling plans to close Old Dandenong Road and keeping it open for traffic flow, cyclists and pedestrians
- Adding a wetlands area for water management and to support native birds and wildlife
- Planting strategies to reintroduce more native and indigenous vegetation
- Providing pedestrian access through the site to link up the Chain of Parks Trail and to link to bus routes on Kingston Road
View Council’s alternative design ideas and share your feedback at www.yourkingstonyoursay.com.au
Council is keen to present its design ideas to the Environmental Effects statement hearings in early 2022. Anyone can make a submission to the EES process until Thursday 16 December at engage.vic.gov.au/srl-east-iac