The owners of the former Bradmill factory site have been granted two more years to begin the redevelopment of the Yarraville property.
Beijing-based development conglomerate Chang Sheng last month applied to Maribyrnong council for an extension to its permit, due to lapse last week, proposing a $20 million shopping centre, with a new library, medical centre, supermarkets, shops and apartments.
Mitchell Asset Management managing director John Mitchell, who handled Chang Sheng’s recent $172 million deal for the site, confirmed there is “a process under way” between the landowners and the council.
“The current masterplan dates from 2011 under a very different guise,” he said.
“Obviously, the site is far more strategic, especially now with the Transurban Western Distributor link due to begin works in 2018.”
Maribyrnong Council director of planning services Nigel Higgins said the application to extend the planning permit allowing development of the former Bradmill site has been approved by Council.
“The extension allows two years for the commencement of the development following careful consideration of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal guidance,” he said.
“The agreement for a library on the site remains unchanged.”
A masterplan for the 24-hectare Yarraville Gardens residential development includes up to 1500 dwellings in a mix of townhouse and apartment buildings from two to eight storeys.
But the sales pitch advertised the site as having “special capacity to substantially increase density”.
Mr Mitchell said illegal activities that had plagued the site last year had been dealt with by bricking up heritage factory windows and ensuring 24-hour security patrols.
Footscray police inspector Adrian Healy confirmed illegal raves and other trouble had died down in recent times.
But a nearby resident said security appears to have fallen off and there has been no evidence that the 24-hour patrols have been taking place over the last few weeks.
“The main gates on Francis St have been left wide open. Two weekends ago a car was burnt out in the adjoining car park and the fence line and walls have also been breached.”
Resident Adam Lamerton said there is growing frustration at the lack of progress on the redevelopment of the “ugly eyesore”. He also criticised the lack of communication with residents.
“You get so little information from the council or otherwise.”
He cited transport access as his main concern in any push to increase the project’s density.
“At the moment you just have Francis Street and, if this is increased in density, it will become more and more busy.”