Glenferrie Place Plan 'Reboot'
Updated: Apr 26, 2023
First released in 2021, the draft Glenferrie Place Plan (the Plan) has undergone a rethink and is now being relaunched for public consideration. Boroondara Council says the Plan is an 'ambitious document that charts a vision for the future of the Glenferrie precinct' for the coming decades.
In 2019-20, the development of the Plan was budgeted at $2.6 million over three years. Among the nine initiatives of the 2021 draft Plan was a multi-level car park for Liddiard Street, Hawthorn (Commuter Parking Project), which stole the community's focus from the broader Plan. The car park was to be funded by the contentious Federal Governments Urban Congestion Fund. However, following significant community opposition in 2022, the then Federal Treasurer and Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg, withdrew funding for the project, immediately sending the Plan back to the drawing board.
In the 2023 draft Plan, Council proclaims that they 'have listened' to community feedback and this has influenced the updated Plan. So far all feedback gathered from the 2021 draft Plan remains unreleased. Nonetheless, Council quotes that the first released Plan had strong positive feedback of over 80%. A key initiate of the Plan is the 'Glenferrie Streetscape', which is based on consultation in 2020 that found '89% of respondents want to expand outdoor dining' along with the highest preference for greenery, landscaping, seating and wider footpaths.
Glenferrie Streetscape works would require the relocation of 40 on-street car parking spaces along Glenferrie Road. In addition to these developments, six tram stops along Glenferrie Road will be consolidated to four stops by the Victorian Government to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992. This means the loss of a further 40 parking spaces, totalling a net loss of 80 spaces that will need re-locating. This loss is clearly impacting how the 2023 Plan is shaping as Council tries to maintain overall parking capacity in the area.
Although Council are once again consulting the community on the Plan, only initiative four 'Glenferrie Mews' invites public vote on a three-option proposal on car parking.
Central to the Glenferrie Mews initiative is, once again, the Liddiard Street carpark - now referred to as Park Street carpark in the Plan. Council state in this initiative that they have 'identified an opportunity to better use Council land'. The revised Plan asks the community to vote for three possible outcomes to this effect;
Option 1) The south half (Park Street end) would see carparking consolidated to initially a new three-storey parking facility, while the northern end (Liddiard Street) would be made available for sale and development. This is described as the 'moderate cost' option, with the expectation that 'sale of the northern portion of the site' could significantly fund the project. If community approved, a three-storey parking facility would accommodate the existing 138 parking spaces plus 40 spaces. Every level added above three-stories, would add a further 40 spaces per level. Therefore, a 'five-storey option' would see the Liddiard Street carpark absorb the 80 parking spaces lost from Glenferrie Road for the Streetscape initiative, with additional spaces spare, qualifying this as Council's most feasible option.
Option 2) The entire carpark would receive a single additional level of parking, retaining the 138 spaces, and adding a further 80 with no sale of land for development. This is described as the 'highest cost' option due to no sale of Council land involved.
Option 3) No change at all. Given as the 'no cost' option, this would result in 'no new costs but also no revenue'.
Although Option 1 suggests a revenue stream could be generated from the sale and development of around half of the current Liddiard/Park Street carpark, there is no obligation from Boroondara Council to channel funds from council land sale into this specific project. If Option 3 is most supported, no new parking will be created, resulting in a net loss of 80 parking spaces if the Glenferrie Streetscape initiative is implemented. Therefore, casting uncertainty over the viability of the Streetscape project.
Proposed Parking Relocation
While a Liddiard/Park Street car park build is hoped to carry the car parking load from Glenferrie Road's net loss, the issue of Council's planned rezoning and sale of Serpells Lane carpark hangs over proceedings. In the Council study of Serpells Lane's use, they maintain that parking in the area could generally 'absorb the loss of its 89-spaces' and 'revenue from its sale could be reinvested in the Streetscape upgrades'. Careful analysis indicates that the net loss of Glenferrie Road's 80 plus 40 of Serpells Lane's 89 car spaces could only be absorbed by Liddiard/Park Street becoming a five-storey lot. Once again, the question of revenue raising should be considered a 'no guarantee', given that funds from land sales will not automatically benefit the project.
Hawthorn Library Relocation
The sixth initiative, Cultural Quarter, proposes a 'vision for a dynamic arts and learning centre'. This initiative involves the relocation of the Hawthorn Library from 584 Glenferrie Road to beside the Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, and to be constructed on the existing adjacent James Street carpark. To compensate for this loss of parking, an underground carpark accessible from James Street is proposed. Again, the Plan makes mention of a 'mixed use development on the southern edge of the site [to] contribute towards project funding.'
Much of the Place Plan's feasibility appears dependent on the following factors;
1) Overwhelming community support for a three-to-five storey carpark in Liddiard/Park Street, and the partial sale for development of Council land.
2) Revenue generated by the sale and development of Council land, including Serpells Lane, James Street and Liddiard/Park Street parking areas being guaranteed by Council to specifically benefit the Glenferrie Plan projects.
Have Your Say
In-person, drop-in sessions are being hosted by Boroondara Council on;
Thursday 13 April, 11am-1pm and Wednesday 19 April, 5:30pm-7pm at the Hawthorn Arts Centre.
Monday 3 April, 10am-12pm and Wednesday 26 April, 10am-12pm in the Don Arcade, Glenferrie Road.
Online feedback to be submitted before 5pm, Tuesday 2 May 2023. Go to engage.boroondara.vic.gov.au/glenferrie-road-consultation to cast your vote.