HIGHLANDS

Collie has had and continues to have a key role in Stockland’s ‘Highlands’ – a 760 hectares new community development in Craigieburn on the northem edge of metropolitan Melbourne. Located just off the Hume Highway at Craigieburn, approximately 10 kilometres north east of the Melbourne International Airport and 3 kilometres west of the Craigieburn Train Station on the Craigieburn line, Highlands is in a major growth area and is expected to be ‘home’ to approximately 28,000 people once completed.

Highlands commenced development under the Silverton Group Ltd (from 1998 to 2001) and then Lensworth Highlands Pty Ltd (from 2002 to 2004). Stockland purchased the Lensworth portfolio, including the Highlands site in December 2004.

The Collie role has included initial review of the existing old Local Structure Plan and the preparation of a fully revised new LSP. The Highlands Local Structure Plan (HLSP) deals with development at Highlands including residential, public open space, recreation and leisure facilities, activity centres, engineering infrastructure, landscape enrichment and sites of conservation, heritage and archeological significance. Since its approval in December 2007, the HLSP has been amended allowing for changes to activity centres and public open space areas and facilities within the development.

Collie has been involved also in the following.

  • Assisting Stockland and Hume City Council in the review and revision of development contributions for Highlands. The review resulted in an updated development contributions plan with agreements on revised implementation triggers.
  • Statutory planning including preparation of subdivision permit applications.
  • Assisting Stockland with the development of design guidelines for housing at Highlands. The guidelines have then been the basis for the preparation by Collie of stage building envelope plans.
  • Master planning of the ‘northern villages’ component, including preparation of urban design concepts and the development plan. This site contains about 1,300 lots over 150 hectares plus schools, an activity centre and open space (creek) areas and parks. The urban design component included ideas for the open space themes / vision and resulted in a design guideline document dealing with:

 

         –   niche gardens in small parks derived from middle eastern and Mediterranean experience (to reflect an emerging cultural interest);
          –   utilising the existing stock of local stone to develop gabion walls;
          –   developing high canopied street tree plantings;
          –   utilising WSUD principles in streetscape and park development;
          –   integrating and differentiating between streetscapes and Malcolm Creek itself;
          –   developing small parks as prototypes for residential gardens;
          –   investigating usage of water reticulation in small parks;
          –   developing simple architectural styles reflective of shade and containment;
          –   investigating potential to utilise exotic vegetation within enclosed spaces;
          –   developing integrated native plantings along edges and to establish hierarchy in street tree plantings.

With only a number of sections within Highlands that are yet to be subdivided and a population that is increasing at a dramatic rate, the completion of the development does not seem far away.