What is the Debneys Park precinct?

As the Debneys Park area is large and includes many facilities and spaces, it is thought of as a whole precinct. Key features of Debneys Park precinct include the Flemington Community Centre, the sports pavilion, sports fields and courts, a playground, Debney Meadows Primary School, Hopetoun Children's Centre and community gardens.

The areas surrounding Debneys Park are also planned to accommodate significant growth. This includes the proposed redevelopment of the Flemington Housing Estate by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Arden-Macaulay development are which includes parts of North Melbourne, Kensington and Macaulay sits to the south of Debneys Park and will bring with it 20,000 new residents, as well as a large workforce population.


What is a community hub?

A community hub is a community facility, or a number of closely located community facilities, that accommodate a range of services and activities available to the community. Community hubs often become vibrant focal points for the local community. They allow service providers to share resources and co-ordinate their services, which can reduce the overall building size and footprint. A new community hub is a priority for Flemington in Council's long term vision document, MV2040. As an important focal point for the neighbourhood, the community hub will provide social, health and economic development opportunities.


Why do we need to improve Debneys Park?

There are a number of reasons that Debneys Park and the Flemington Community Centre need updating:

The population of Flemington will continue to grow and is expected to almost double in the next twenty years. The Arden-Macaulay development area will cater for nearly 20,000 new residents when it is built, as well as a large workforce population. These people will be likely to use Debneys Park and the proposed community hub given its close location.

The existing community centre supports a range of community services and activities. However, the building in disrepair and struggling to meet the existing community need. Demand for most services is high and there is an increasing need for spaces for classes, co-working, and community events.  While the sports pavilion in the park is heavily utilised, it is also in poor condition. It has no public toilets or social space and does not comply with sporting code guidelines.


Why do we need to redevelop the Flemington Community Centre?

The current Flemington Community Centre, despite being well used and loved by the community, has many maintenance and structural problems and is beyond the point of repair. The Centre is also struggling to meet current demand for services and does not have enough spaces, and the right types of spaces, needed to service the growing community.

What will the improvements cost?

 Until the Debneys Park concept plan is finalised, the exact improvement costs are not known. Determining the total cost of new and improved facilities forms part of the project. However, Council has estimated that the cost to develop a new community hub will be up to$40 million. Funding has been allocated in Council's capital budget to build a new community hub by 2023. Council will also continue to work with the State and Federal governments to seek external funding support for delivery of other improvements for the precinct in the medium and longer

Is this project part of the Flemington Housing Estate redevelopment?

The Community @ Debneys Park project is independent of the Department of Health and Human Service’s plans to redevelop the Flemington Housing Estate. Debneys Park and the Flemington Community Centre are on land owned and managed by Moonee Valley City Council. The Flemington Housing Estate redevelopment is on land owned and managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Moonee Valley Council is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure that the outcomes of the Estate redevelopment complement what is planned for Debneys Park.


What is the benefit to the community?

A revitalised Debneys Park precinct, including a modern and accessible Flemington community hub is needed to support the growing population and the changing service and recreational requirements. In the short term, delivery of a new community hub will benefit the whole Flemington community and is likely to include a range of rooms for activities such as learning, library, community art, recreation, youth programs, occasional care, social enterprise and community support services; administration offices; and a new sports pavilion.· Over the medium-longer term improvements include-play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities;·sports fields, outdoor courts; shared paths and landscaping.· Recommendations from the draft Chain of Ponds: Moonee Ponds Creek Plan such as a rain garden, and water storage areas will also be delivered over the medium to longer term.


What is the Flemington Community @ Debneys Park project?

The project will guide improvements at the precinct to meet future community needs in the short, medium and longer term. It will include developments throughout the Debneys Park area and a design for a new multipurpose community building to replace the existing Flemington Community Centre, as a short-term infrastructure priority.

This Council led project focuses on two parcels of land; Debneys Park and the site of the Hopetoun Children's Centre. Key features of the study area include the Flemington Community Centre, the sports pavilion, sports fields and courts, a playground, Debney Meadows Primary School, Hopetoun Children's Centre and community gardens.

This project is not part of the Flemington Housing Estate redevelopment being delivered by the Department of Health and Human Services.


What will be included in the Flemington community hub and precinct plan?

The community will guide what the future plan for Debneys Park looks like and what changes should be made to improve the precinct. Research into future community facility needs for the Flemington area has been undertaken and these will be considered in the precinct plan. This includes: a large flexible space, a new sports pavilion, a new community centre with multiple spaces for various services and co-working spaces. Other types of spaces will also be considered through this project.

Why is the community hub sited in its proposed location?

The siting for the community hub was selected to maximise benefits for the Flemington Community. In its proposed location, the community hub:

  • is highly visible and has a strong presence adjacent to the important park entries
  • is equally and easily accessible by the all of the surrounding community via Victoria Street, Mt Alexander Road and Racecourse Road and Flemington Bridge station
  • is close to the school to allow for some shared use of facilities during school hours
  • does not overshadow the sports fields and receives good sunlight from the connected outside spaces
  • provides good connection between the sports fields and the sports pavilion
  • enables views across the open parkland, creating an attractive entrance to Moonee Valley.

How is car parking being provided in each of the proposed options?

Each design option for Debneys Park priorities walking, cycling and public transport over private vehicles to encourage sustainable transport travel to the Flemington community hub. This is achieved by improving walking and cycling paths and limiting the provision on on-site car spaces to approximately the current provision rate of 87 spaces. Car parking is designed to minimise encroachment on open space. Proposed on-site car parking provision: Option 1: 50 car spaces accommodated on site at gradient under the community hub. The internal access road uses the existing vehicular access point on Mt Alexander Road. 32 car spaces accommodated by realigning car parking on Victoria Street (opposite Debney Meadows Primary School) to 90 degree angle parking. Option 2: 60 car spaces accommodated at gradient on the park’s west flank. Access is provided via the existing vehicular access point on Mt Alexander Road. 30 car spaces accommodated by realigning car parking on Victoria Street (opposite Debney Meadows Primary School) to 90 degree angle parking. Option 3: 55 car spaces accommodated at gradient directly under the indoor sports courts. Access is provided via the existing vehicular access point on Mt Alexander Road. 32 car spaces accommodated by realigning car parking on Victoria Street (opposite Debney Meadows Primary School) to 90 degree angle parking.

Disabled car parking and loading zones:

Disabled car parking, disabled access and loading zones will achieve best practice and (at a minimum) the relevant legislative requirements and Australian Standards. The detailed design of these elements will be provided at the next project stage.

What will happen to the Hopetoun Children’s centre?

We are exploring future development options for the Hopetoun Children’s Centre site to ensure the land is used for the most appropriate use. A range of future scenarios will influence the future of the Hopetoun children’s centre, including the final design of the Flemington community hub.

Will the significant trees be protected?

All significant trees will be protected through the staged development of the Debneys Park precinct. Each design option allows for increased landscaping, to meet our target of 30 per cent tree canopy coverage by 2040 as protection against increasing temperatures.

Some tree removal is required for construction of the community hub in each option. With the smallest building footprint, the least number of trees will be removed in concept design Option 1.




What will happen to Debneys Meadows Primary School?

All three options are designed to enable the school to remain in its current location. As the school is currently located on Council-owned land, we have investigated alternate public uses for the school site should it be transferred back to Council control.

The Department of Education continues to undertake region-wide planning for schools. Questions about the planning, building and upgrading of schools in the Moonee Valley area, can be directed to the Victorian School Building Authority on vsba@edumail.vic.gov.au or 1800 896 950.

How have the three designs been informed by community?

Input from residents, community groups and organisations, as well as members of the Flemington Neighbourhood Advisory Group and staff of the Flemington Community Centre, continue to guide the concept options.

Throughout October and November 2018, we gained feedback on the vision for the project, and design inspiration for different types of facilities including building height and size. This consultation reinforced Debneys Park as a place for the whole community. We heard that the designs should be welcoming of all, cater to many interests of local residents, and encourage people to use the park, get to know their neighbours and spend time with their families.

What will it cost to use the new community hub?

The cost to use the new community hub will be the same as the cost to use the existing Flemington Community Centre. The cost to build the new community hub will not be reflected in the fees and charges to access the programs, services and hire of spaces within the new facility. 

Council’s standard facility hire fees will apply to the hire of spaces at the new community hub: https://www.mvcc.vic.gov.au/experience-moonee-valley/community-centres-and-halls.aspx. Council is committed to ensuring community facilities remain affordable and accessible to the broad community.