Why is this redevelopment proposed?

    In 2018, Council undertook a feasibility study that analysed the existing condition and use of RecWest Footscray, whilst also exploring the suitability for redevelopment with consideration for future use and community needs/expectations. As a result of failing building conditions and the pressing need to accommodate existing and future demand for a variety of community uses, Council endorsed the commencement of conceptual designs for a new community centre at RecWest Footscray. More broadly, Council has identified that a long term vision and Sports Facilities Plan is required for the neighbouring Johnson and Shorten Reserves (both of which are currently at capacity) to identify future provision for the West Footscray Sporting Precinct as a whole.

    What consultation has been undertaken with the community so far?

    To date, we have consulted with over 20 sports clubs, user groups and community groups, and have spoken with local schools. Through YourCityYourVoice, two online community surveys were published, which received over 500 responses. On top of this, four community drop-in sessions were held in 2019.

    A stakeholder reference group was formed with community members and representatives from various user groups and we have held a number of meeting to seek feedback on current facilities and draft plans. We have also undertaken a feasibility study and projected the future demand for our facilities.

    The information that we gained has helped us to refine the concept plans in order to facilitate further discussion.

    What are the opportunities to provide input?

    The community are invited to review the concept plans for RecWest Footscray, Shorten and Barrett Reserves, and Johnson Reserve, and provide feedback on the plans and any further improvements they would like to see.

    Are these plans final?

    No, these are concept plans that have been created based off initial feedback that we have received from the community. We are now asking the community to provide feedback on these updated plans, and we will then make further adjustments based on what we hear.

    How much is the redevelopment likely to cost?

    The entire redevelopment of RecWest Footscray, Shorten and Barrett Reserves, and Johnson Reserve is likely to be cost approximately $25 million. Funding for this project will be sought from State Government.

    How will the redevelopment be paid for?

    This will be a combination of Council funding and State Government funding.

    What is the timeframe for this project?

    This will be dependent on available funding, and will be a staged process over the next 5 years.

    What happens to my feedback?

    The feedback we receive during community consultation will be analysed and the concept plans will be revised to take this feedback into account.

    Following the community consultation, a report will be presented to Council for approval to go to the next stage of the design.

    If this project goes ahead, will there be an increase in car parking spaces?

    Those visiting Johnson Reserve will be able to park on View and Suffolk Streets, with lined parking and passing bays added to encourage traffic flow.

    Why are you recommending the closure of Market Street?

    Closing Market Street will allow for greater connection between Shorten and Barrett Reserve, and will create an increase in open space and community connectedness. During community consultation in 2019, over two thirds of the respondents supported the closure of Market Street closure.

    How will the potential closure of Market Street affect the surrounding roads?

    An independent consultant was appointed to review the car parking and traffic management at both locations. The traffic (and parking) anticipated to be re-routed from Market Street to Blandford Street is not expected to have any material impact on the operation of the surrounding road network. The intersection of Blandford Street and Essex Street is expected to continue to operate under satisfactory conditions.

    How will the proposed car parking on Graham Street (off Market Street) affect traffic flow?

    This is not expected to affect traffic flow.

    Why haven’t extra indoor basketball courts been added to the concept designs?

    A separate feasibility study was undertaken in 2018 that determined that RecWest Footscray was not deemed suitable to be an indoor multi- court location. An outdoor court has been added for multi-purpose community use to cater for basketball, netball and other sports that is easily accessible and free to use.

    What will happen to the current user groups at RecWest?

    User groups will be catered for in the new facility.

    What type of community spaces have the community indicated they want included in RecWest?

    The community asked for community spaces that can be used for a range of options, such as meeting rooms, social connection rooms, group fitness, events, and co-working to name a few. The designs will reflect multi-purpose rooms that can be adapted to be provide maximum use of the area.

    Is Shorten Reserve pavilion being redeveloped?

    Shorten Reserve pavilion will be upgraded as part of the plan to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

    What types of activities or uses are possible in the proposed open space areas?

    Any activity that increases the health and wellbeing of our community will be encouraged in the open space areas – we invite the community to use the spaces as much as possible to increase this.