The $2 billion New Epping development will include a major healthcare precinct, 2000 homes, as well as commercial space for retail and hospitality businesses.

City of Whittlesea administrators expect the approval of developer Riverlee’s $2 billion New Epping project to create more than 4875 jobs and transform health in the region.

Administrators approved the planned mixed-use development at a meeting on January 31, paving the way for healthcare, housing, employment and commercial infrastructure at the dormant 51-hectare former Epping Quarry site.

New Epping will also include the Northern Private Hospital, which is under construction and expected to open in 2024.

The private hospital, next to the Northern Hospital in Cooper Street, will be operated by Ramsay Health Care and create 726 jobs once in operation.

Riverlee development director David Lee said the development would be the largest medical hub in Melbourne’s north, estimated to contribute more than $3.4 billion to the economy or about one per cent of Victoria’s current gross domestic product, GDP.

He said the development would create more than 7200 jobs, 4875 directly and 2334 indirect, once fully operational, in addition to 622 construction roles required each year to complete the 15-year build.

“We want New Epping to set a new standard in urban renewal, with a more thoughtful approach to how we regenerate infill sites and integrate mixed-use communities,” he said.

The City of Whittlesea is expected to grow from a population of 220,000 people to 380,000 by 2041.

Healthcare is the largest employer in the municipality, with the Northern Hospital, which employs 5700 staff, home to the busiest emergency department in Victoria.

Council chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the development would bring many benefits to the region.

“This landmark project will provide employment opportunities, economic stimulus and the infrastructure required to create a vibrant urban environment that is underpinned by wellness and sustainability,” she said.

“Riverlee has created a vision for New Epping that builds on the cornerstones of our community – healthcare as our leading industry, the need for quality housing for people at all stages of life, and sustainability as a way of ensuring a bright and healthy future for our younger generations.

“With its challenging site conditions, the former Epping Quarry has laid dormant for decades. Its transformation is something the entire community can look forward to.”

Mr Lee said a seven-hectare health, wellness and knowledge precinct would generate 646 new jobs in allied health.

The masterplan also includes 110,000 square metres of commercial space, 2000 homes, along with retail and hospitality, supporting an estimated 5742 workers.

“The provision of a new health and wellness precinct at New Epping will guarantee the wellbeing of its residents, create jobs and help the state’s healthcare system cope with demand,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee said New Epping would aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions while focusing on walkable neighbourhoods that included a variety of residential housing, parks, cafes and recreation facilities.

“Across five neighbourhoods, we will be delivering a range of commercial, healthcare, residential and civic spaces that will cement Epping as the CBD of Melbourne’s north,” he said.

“In doing so, we want to bring all the character you find in the inner north of Melbourne to Epping and in that sense, this project is ahead of its time and will redefine the suburbs of the future.”

Approval of the first stage of New Epping was fast-tracked by the State Government’s Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce in December 2020.

Further permits are expected to be lodged this year.