By Jackson Russell
A draft masterplan has revealed what the future of Wallan East could look like in the not-too-distant future, including multi-storey apartment buildings and an elevated railway to cater for metropolitan trains.
Mitchell Shire Council has drafted a masterplan framework for the Wallan Railway Station, which also includes a Wallan Railway Station concept design.
With the expansion of Wallan, the train station is set to become a crucial transit hub for the town, connecting it with both Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Three options have been developed as part of the concept design.
The first option includes minimal changes to the existing rail infrastructure, the second realigns the tracks to open up development and the third includes an elevated track.
In the concept design document, council has listed the third as it’s preferred long-term option with a 2051 date given.
In the short term, which council expects to be the next 10 years, the station itself would remain relatively the same as it is today with development focused on the surrounding area.
By 2031, council hopes to have a pedestrian overpass completed, along with updated station facilities, an expanded 800-vehicle car park and improvements to bus and network capacity to service Wallan, a developing Station Street Precinct and a completed Wallara Waters estate.
By 2051, the station would feature new twin island platforms servicing both Metro and V/Line train services, stabling yards, a station plaza space, a bus interchange, a 3000-space multi-level car park and a high-speed rail line.
In the same timeframe, the surrounding area would mostly be complete, including the Station Street precinct, western employment precinct and Wallan East precinct.
Two road projects, an overpass over the Hume Freeway and the railway line, connecting Kelby Lane and William Street, and the duplication of Wallan-Whittlesea Road with a signalised intersection at Station Street, would also be completed.
The Wallan Railway Station Concept Design also outlines plan for the area around the station, which would include an arrival plaza, mixed-use development, and affordable housing and community spaces.
The space under the elevated rail line could be used as an open play space such as sports courts.
Council plans to use the concept design to advocate for future support and improvements to the station.
Submissions from residents, external stakeholders and future residents will be used to improve the draft documents before they are presented back to council for adoption at a later time.
Meanwhile, the Wallan Station Street Precinct Masterplan outlines the vision for the area surrounding the train station.
Under the draft masterplan, the precinct will be broken up into four sub-precincts.
Station Street Central will be made up of commercial sites, retail shops, employment and residential sites.
Station Street North will be mostly residential, made up of a mix of apartments and townhouses along with some commercial sites.
A low-density residential area, Hillside is anchored by two wetlands spaces, while Hilltop will be an open, medium-density, residential area.
Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said one of the cornerstones of a growing shire was partnering with the community to gain a range of views on its future growth.
“Precinct planning provides community input, which we value, and is absolutely vital to informing Council in its decision-making,” he said.
“Wallan’s population is solidly growing, and we want to be proactive in our planned approach.
“The Station Street Precinct will bring local employment opportunities, cater for more residents as well as attract businesses and meet service needs.
“It is exciting to know that we are preparing in a smart way for a strong future.
“The Wallan Railway Station Concept Design will also help us advocate on the community’s behalf as we look to explore all possibilities in that area to encourage sustainable means of travel and connectivity.”
Council is currently seeking feedback from the community about the Wallan Station Street Precinct Masterplan and Wallan Railway Station Concept Design.
The two draft documents are available at www.engagingmitchellshire.com, where residents are also able to make submissions and take surveys about both documents.
Council is hosting an online drop-in session at 4pm on Wednesday, August 26.
Submissions close at 9am on August 31.