The Lae Street Nursery Community Advisory Group was established late last year to lead a conversation around opportunities for enhanced community use of the land at 4 Lae Street, West Footscray, previously home to a Council nursery.
The nursery closed due to the deteriorating condition of the land and the site has only been used to store plants and a few other items in recent years.
The Advisory Group, which is made up of neighbours and nearby residents in West Footscray, has been meeting monthly since the start of this year.
During this time they have reviewed all the available documentation and background information that will influence what is possible on the site, including the Stony Creek Future Directions Plan and Open Space Strategy - along with reports on the status of the land, including soil and heritage reports.
Initial thoughts around elements that could guide the future repurposing of the former nursery site included a place that:
- Is welcoming and involves families, children and future generations
- Is localised and intimate and supports neighbourhood connections
- Is integrated with the neighbouring A McDonald Reserve
- References the relationship with nearby Stony Creek
- Includes and references indigenous and native flora and fauna
- References First Nations connection to country and culture
- References local history/geology.
On 28 May 2022, the Advisory Group hosted a Community Open Day on site with approximately 80 nearby residents and community members attending.
The Advisory Group sought community views around elements that could guide the future of the former nursery site and any other ideas for the future redevelopment.
Based on conversations at the Open Day and completed survey responses to date, the community appears to view Lae Street primarily as:
- A place that encourages connection: that supports social gatherings, and where residents can relax and unwind, and children can play
- A place to interact with nature, where trees feature, and residents can learn about the environment
- A place with a connection to country that also celebrates the cultural heritage of the area
- A place that collectively supports the health and wellbeing of the community.
March onsite tour
Placemaking ideas developed by Melbourne University students have also been reviewed Advisory Group to understand if they could be supported on the site and be part of future conversations with the wider community during future engagement activities.
You can view the student presentations here.
What is next?
Based on what the community has told us so far, the Advisory Group will start developing more detailed ideas in terms of what the redevelopment could look like.
To contact the Advisory Group email: email@example.com Council’s engagement team are acting as their secretariat and will pass your messages on.