Place Plan Update
First appearing in the 2019-20 Budget, Glenferrie Placemaking was initially proposed as an ongoing $2.6 million project that, according to Boroondara Council, would provide a “roadmap for revitalising the Glenferrie Road precinct in Hawthorn”. However, the Place Plan, after two years in the making, hit a major setback in March this year, when former Federal Treasurer and Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg suddenly withdrew funding for the proposed multi-level car park. This car park was a key component of one of the nine initiatives of the Place Plan: ‘Glenferrie Mews’.
The Place Plan’s initial feasibility analysis stage began back in January 2020. The following month, the ideas stage was undertaken with consultation of over 1,000 community members. In August 2020, Council released the ‘Vision and Priorities’ findings gathered from community input, but it was almost a full twelve months before the draft Place Plan was published on 26 October 2021. Between 26 October and 7 December 2021, a feedback forum was open on the City of Boroondara website inviting local residents to comment on the proposed Place Plan. The results of this feedback are yet to be made public. City of Boroondara’s Director of Urban Living, Scott Walker explained, “a summary of community feedback will be made public when the final Place Plan is put forward to Council for adoption.”
At present, of the nine Place Plan projects, only some short-term ‘creative community’ initiatives have yielded tangible outcomes with a new mural in the Glenferrie Place laneway; ‘yarn bombing’ on Glenferrie Road where a number of benches, bike racks and poles were covered in brightly coloured yarn. Actual infrastructure projects, such as the relocation of the controversial public amenities beneath the rail bridge, remain in limbo. Mr Walker added, “These public toilets will be addressed as part of the streetscape project due to their important relationship with tram stop and pedestrian crossing locations.” Mr Walker explained that the finalisation of the Glenferrie Road Place Plan “has been significantly impacted by the Federal Government’s decision to withdraw funding for the car park.” He stated, “However, we are seeking Council endorsement of the revised plan by the end of 2022.”