THE City of Whittlesea will develop and sell a council-owned property in Mernda to allow for a mixture of a private and affordable housing development.

At last week’s council meeting, administrators voted to subdivide and develop the property at 17-19 Johnsons Road into 35 lots.

Thirty two of the lots will be sold on the open market and the remaining three will be reserved for sale and/or lease to a registered housing organisation for social housing.

Council purchased the property from the State Government in 2014, with the strategic intent of selling the property at a future point for a return to be invested back into community infrastructure, in accordance with council’s social affordable housing policy.

Administrators voted in favour of developing the property in accordance with the approved subdivision plan and then selling each individual lot on the open market.

The three lots for affordable housing development will be available through an expression of interest process, with council to determine a suitable housing provider.

A community consultation and engagement process received nine submissions, with five in support of the sale, three opposed and one neither in support nor opposition.

The community also responded to the proposed number of lots for social housing, with five submissions agreeing with the proposed three lots, three wanting fewer and one wanting more.

Comments provided on the proposed sale were generally positive, recognising benefits to those looking to build an accessible home near public transport and benefits to disadvantaged people cited as reasons to support the project.

One comment suggested a significant impact on traffic, with concerns raised about the capacity of Johnsons Road, adjoining Schotters Road and nearby Hazel Glen Drive.

A further report on the affordable housing lots is expected to be presented to council in mid-2022.

Administrator Chris Eddy said the process of the proposal had been encouraging.

“I think we’ve arrived at a sensible and responsible approach to dealing with this land but also trying to make a contribution to dealing with those affordable housing issues we have in the City of Whittlesea,” he said.

“Based on the input we’ve received and the very considered advice we’ve received I’m happy to support this [most recent] recommendation.”

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