Concept Plan Endorsed for Lae Street Nursery Site

Council has endorsed a concept plan for the former nursery site which captures key design features identified during a two-year engagement with an advisory group made up of local residents.

The Lae Street Community Advisory Group was established in late 2021 to lead the 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 in recent years has only been used to store plants and a few other items.

Council endorsed the Concept Plan below at its meeting on 12 December 2023.

Endorsed Lae Street Nursery Concept Plan 12 December 2023

Key elements include:

  • a gathering circle and sloping lawn area central to the site
  • community bush tucker beds in raised bluestone planters
  • a meditative seating area
  • a water fountain play area
  • nature play water area
  • a rain garden for surface water run-off
  • adventure play
  • clambering nature play discovery trail

The inclusion of a water play area will require further consideration and investigation.

You can also view the Council report and copy of the meeting livestream on our website

Next Steps

The first stage of construction is scheduled for the first half of 2024 and will open the whole area up for community access.

If you have any comments on the endorsed Concept Plan, you can share them by emailing the Recreation and Open Space Team at

How we got here

Following an expression of interest process, the Lae Street Nursery Community Advisory Group was established in late 2021.

The independently facilitated Group, which was made up of neighbours, nearby residents in West Footscray and representatives of community and environmental groups, met monthly during 2022 to review relevant documentation, including the Stony Creek Future Directions Plan, Open Space Strategy, and reports on the status of the land, including soil and heritage reports; and discuss ideas for the site.

In framing up their thinking around the opportunities the site presented, the Group identified seven themes to explore through the concept design process:

  • integration with neighbouring A McDonald Reserve
  • referencing Stony Creek
  • including and referencing indigenous flora and fauna
  • reference to First Nations connection to country and culture
  • history and geology
  • a place that welcomes and involves families children and multiple generations
  • local neighbourhood context.

After further discussions and consideration of how these themes might be realised, along with feedback received from the May 2022 Community Open Day, the key design features the Community Advisory Group settled on were:

  • a gathering/meeting space
  • nature play
  • trees and greenery
  • pathway/connections to A McDonald Reserve
  • First Nations acknowledgement/recognition

Based on the Group's deliberations, Council prepared draft concepts for review during 2023. Following the Group's endorsement, the Concept Plan was adopted by Council.

The community is able to email their comments to

Community Open Day - May 2022

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, the community viewed 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 2022 onsite tour

March onsite tour

Images from the March 2022 Advisory Group meeting where members were taken on a tour of the former nursery site.

Initial Ideas Wall early 2022

Melbourne University Students Placemaking 2022

Placemaking ideas developed by Melbourne University students were also reviewed by the Community 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.