13 November 2017

Artist's impression of Heatherton Road community space

Final plans for 11 MCG’s worth of open space have been unveiled, paving the way for one of the biggest releases of urban parkland Melbourne has ever seen.

The designs for 22.5 hectares of landscaped parks, paths and recreation facilities are now available to view online

Project Director Brett Summers said raising the rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong would not only get rid of nine level crossings, but will connect communities previously split apart by ground level tracks.

“I am extremely proud of the work done by our design team and hope these plans can help the community share our excitement for how the rail corridor will be transformed.

“While improving congestion and safety will always be at the heart of this project, we are also setting out to transform places and the open space is an amazing opportunity to do just that.”

Across the entire 22.5 hectares of open space, guidance from the community and a specially-formed Community Open Space Expert Panel was integral to the final designs, which have incorporated around two thirds of the group’s recommendations.

A key recommendation from the panel – led by Royal Botanic Gardens Chief Tim Entwisle – was that spaces earmarked for recreation should have ‘something for everyone’, appealing to all ages. As such, dog parks, futsal, and bouldering all feature in the park alongside more traditional picnic seating, barbecues and basketball.

Other highlights include:

  • More than 430 commuter car spaces will also be added along the Caulfield to Dandenong corridor
  • Heritage features from station buildings - including bluestone and iron latticework, featured throughout
  • Two off-leash dog parks included to address a lack of these facilities in Melbourne’s south east

All up more than 4000 trees will be planted to green up the new open space and nearby parks and reserves, including hundreds gifted to local councils and community groups.

A walking and cycling path will run all the way from Caulfield to the Eastlink Trail in Yarraman will link together sections of existing track to form a continuous route, and include rest stops, public bike pumps and exercise stations.

In Clayton, seeds from the original 1918 Avenue of Honour – largely lost to development in the late 1940s – will be used to propagate a new row of oak trees in honour of past and present servicemen and women.

To view open space designs and read the consultation report, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/openspace