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Disruptions

Preston Open Space Advisory Panel (POSAP)

07 Dec 2020

About the Preston Open Space Advisory Panel

The Preston Open Space Advisory Panel (POSAP) is made up of the local community members who will provide input into how Preston’s newest community open spaces will be developed. They will share their perspective to help us design a space that will be used by locals for generations to come.

Members will:

  • provide feedback on designs of newly created open spaces
  • make sure a broad range of community perspectives are considered
  • share project information and updates with the local community.

For more information about POSAP read our Terms of Reference.

Panel members

  • Rowena Archer, Community Member
  • Shez Bakhuri, Bell Residents Group
  • Esme Bamblett, Aborigines Advancement League
  • Ainsley Bedggood, Community Member
  • Neil Boland, Community Member
  • Lucinda Hartley, Community Member
  • Chris Lombardo, Bridge Darebin
  • Jennifer Loulie, Darebin City Council
  • Michael Webb, Community Member

Executive summaries


Meeting Six – 24 November 2020

The final meeting started with Matt Thorpe, Program Director, thanking all Panel members for their active participation in the Preston Open Space Advisory Panel for the past six months. Local knowledge and insights gained through the process of developing Preston’s newest open space has been invaluable.

The Place Agency agreed with these sentiments, reflecting on how the open space plans have developed from the first meeting through to meeting six. The concept designs have incorporated members’ suggestions and stayed true to how the Panel described Preston’s character.

The Panel praised the POSAP process on being adaptable and flexible as meetings progressed to improve engagement and be able to receive meaningful feedback. This has resulted in members’ feedback being accurately represented, creating open spaces Preston locals will enjoy.

The concept designs emphasise community opinion to have more wide-open green spaces that are easily accessible and welcoming.

Each of the three areas have open space, nature play, extra seating, additional pedestrian paths and more rewilding with Australian native trees, shrubs and grasses.

You can view the open space designs and tell us if the community’s views are represented. Visit Engage Victoria – feedback closes Sunday 17 January 2021.



Meeting Five – 27 October 2020

After meeting four, Panel members were tasked with chatting to their local networks about the open space concept designs to gather and collate their feedback online.

Overall, the feedback was positive with Panel members providing great insights from their local networks on improving the new open spaces for the community to enjoy.

The Panel praised the Project’s emphasis on providing more local access to open spaces, improving amenities and providing a connection to local landmarks. One of the main outcomes received from the Panel was the need for the spaces to be multi-use.  This has resulted in mixed responses on an area proposed to be a dog park.

Key themes from each area:

POSAP area one – Bell Street to Cramer Street

Support for most of the open spaces being designed for multi-use that connect to nearby Preston City Oval with sporting equipment near the oval and playground. Mixed feedback regarding the proposed dog park, with some appreciating the opportunities for social interactions, opportunity to become a local attractor, and others believing that this space could be better utilised.

POSAP area two – Miller Street to Shower Street

Positive feedback on the inclusion of influence over the extended open space area at Oakover Green, the area’s inclusion of local heritage (particularly the tram depot), country and Aboriginal identity and in the strong emphasis on vegetation and rewilding.

POSAP area three – north of Murray Road

Feedback provided limited support for proposed dog park, with members concerned it restricted the use of the space and they preferred areas with multiple uses.  Praise for some rewilding in the area and connection to Railway Reserve Bike Path.


Meeting Four – 22 September 2020

The fourth POSAP meeting for one month.

Open Space – Presentations and Activities

The project team acknowledged a that the original meeting date for meeting four was postponed due to stage four restrictions.

The team explained that whilst on-site works and non-essential communications were on pause during restrictions, planning and development work continued. This included the project team identifying the potential to extend POSAP area two, which now runs from Miller Road to Showers St.

Our landscape design partner Tract presented draft concept designs for POSAP area two, Miller Street to Showers Street and POSAP area three, north of Murray Road. They explained how feedback from key stakeholders, community and POSAP have been incorporated into the design. They also provided an overview of the constraints and challenges of the area and proposed project design and provided opportunities for consideration.

Panel members were asked the following questions:

  • What resonates with you about the proposed open space design?
  • Have we interpreted the panel’s feedback appropriately into the design?
  • What do you think would enhance the usability of the space?
  • Is there anything missing from the proposed open space designs?

Overall, the Panel members’ comments of the open space concept designs were positive and encouraging. They also suggested changes to the design to resonate better with the local community near POSAP area three.

Panel members have been tasked with collecting feedback from their local networks on open space concept designs to be discussed in the next meeting, 27 October.


Meeting Three – 21 July 2020

Due to ever-changing circumstances in Victoria at the moment, it was necessary for us to postpone the third POSAP meeting for one week.

Open Space – Presentations and Activities

Reporting back on what they heard in meeting two, the Place Agency provided a summary of place-making opportunities for all three areas. They provided considerations based on how the panel described Preston’s unique characteristics.

Tract designers presented the open space draft concept designs for POSAP area one, Bell Street to Cramer Street, and explained how feedback from key stakeholders, community and POSAP have been incorporated into the design. They also provided an overview of the constraints and challenges of the area and proposed project design and provided opportunities for consideration.

Panel members were asked the following questions:

  • What resonates with you about the proposed open space design?
  • Have we interpreted the panel’s feedback appropriately into the design?  
  • What do you think would enhance the usability of the space?
  • Is there anything missing from the proposed open space designs?

Overall, the Panel members’ comments of the open space concept designs were positive and encouraging.

Q&A

The Place Agency and Project team responded to final questions from the panel.

A number of members have expressed concerns about the meeting proceeding during stage four restrictions. We’ve postponed meeting four to a later date.


Meeting Two – 16 June 2020

After welcomes and meeting formalities, the open space for consultation was presented to the group.

Open Space – Presentations and Activities

This open space is equivalent to the size of Preston City Oval. The key opportunities identified by the LXRP design team within the open space were creating new east-west connections and shared cycling and pedestrian paths throughout the project.

The Place Agency presented to the panel on place-making principles and the role of place-making for the project. As part of this, the group participated in two activities with questions on ‘What makes Preston special?’ and on ‘How would you describe the character of Preston?’

Following these activities, the types of opportunities in Preston and how different place-making elements can influence the look and feel of a place were presented.

The Place Agency then ended on an activity asking the panel:

  • What could the future place experience be?
  • How could we make this place more characterful?
  • How could we make this a place that locals love?

This allowed a range of design suggestions to be considered for the open spaces being co-designed by POSAP.

Q&A

The Place Agency and Project team responded to final questions from the panel.

Next meeting will be held 14 July 2020.


Meeting One – 19 May 2020

After introductions and meeting formalities, the group was given information about the panel and its purpose.

The key objectives of the meeting were to introduce and build understanding of the project, the panel and its process.

Members of the Preston Level Crossing Removal Project spoke to the panel about the project overview, its objectives, project considerations and the open space areas the panel will provide input on. Project members also presented on the of community and stakeholder engagement for the project so far and how this feedback has influenced the project’s development.

Project members answered questions confirming that

  • Metro Trains Melbourne Depot is being relocated
  • Substation is remaining with some aesthetic improvements
  • Rail bridge height will vary throughout corridor
  • Open spaces for station precinct and functional elements are not open for POSAP consultation due to operational requirements and constraints in these locations.
  • Project plans will be provided as designs progress

Traffic at Bell Street, Preston level crossing

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