The long-awaited vision for Sunbury’s treasured Jacksons Hill has been labelled a “disaster” by a Sunbury residents group.
The draft master plan, released by the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) for public feedback last Thursday, proposes space for a potential secondary school, housing, a creative precinct, community spaces, retirement living and a main street.
The design is based around nine distinct areas, with a civic and cultural spine running north-south through the area.
But despite multiple community consultations and years of lobbying, the Sunbury Residents Association has described the plans as a “disaster”.
Vice president Trevor Dance said the group was concerned by the plan’s lack of detail. He said residents were also concerned by the residential plans on the site’s east and west, as earlier discussions had agreed the site should be for community use.
“The area as we know it will be hidden away into suburbia,” he said.
Sunbury resident Louise Attard, who attended last week’s release, said “very few people” remained at the session beyond halfway.
“People seemed to be despondent and disappointed,” she said.
Ms Attard said the residential aspects of the proposal did not match community desire for infrastructure.
A village green is proposed for the centre, surrounded by shared spaces for community use.
To the green’s south, a pedestrian-priority main street is planned where retail and food opportunities could be established.
Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Speciality School has been allocated room to expand, with the possibility of a creative hub included.
Accessibility is planned to be improved across the entire site, with Circular Drive to allow two-way traffic and bus services.
The former Sunbury mental asylum has remained largely vacant since Victoria University stopped using it in 2009. Planning Minister Richard Wynne last year commissioned a community-focused master plan in consultation with residents.
Hume council acting director, planning and development Michael Sharp said the council is reviewing the draft master plan and will be making a submission at its council meeting in February.