New open space proposed for Kensington
An old warehouse next to the Moonee Ponds Creek in Kensington could be knocked down and the site turned into a vibrant green space under a City of Melbourne proposal.
Community input is currently being sought about a new open space at 70-90 Chelmsford St in what would create 350 square metres of new greenery and pedestrian amenity.
“New open space is required in Macaulay to meet the needs of current and future populations, providing opportunities to relax, exercise, play and connect with nature,” the council said.
“The Chelmsford St open space will be the first new open space delivered in Macaulay and an integral part of the future open space network.”
An estimated budget of $7.71 million has been allocated towards the project including costs for feasibility, design, and construction with the latter expected to begin in 2025.
Cr Rohan Leppert and Kensington Association spokesperson Simon Harvey.
Under the plan, which is detailed on the Kensington Neighbourhood Portal through the council’s Participate Melbourne website, the open space would replace an existing warehouse, which occupies land the council purchased in 2021.
As part of the project, the council has proposed to repurpose seven car parks near the intersection of Chelmsford St and Bent St.
The council has pledged to include Bent St and the Moonee Ponds Creek edge as part of the design development for the proposed open space “to ensure these sites can be integrated in the future, providing a precinct that celebrates place, ecology and community, and incorporates stormwater management and flood mitigation”.
The council also saw the new open space as a “unique opportunity” to celebrate and acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners’ connection to Moonee Ponds Creek.
A poem titled Ripples of Life – Moonee Moonee has been written, commemorating the history and cultural significance of where the future open space will be, while also highlighting the importance of the creek and “the life that it brings”.
A draft concept plan is expected to be released early next year.
Spokesperson for residents’ group the Kensington Association Simon Harvey expressed his enthusiasm for the project.
“Thank goodness this was already in the pipeline; public open space is facet of community development which can easily be brushed under the carpet in an atmosphere of development panic,” he said.
“They [the council] have rightly begun by consulting Indigenous members of the community. Opportunity for wider input into the design is now on our Neighbourhood Portal.”
Community consultation closes December 17.
To have your say or attend a community pop-up session, visit: participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/chelmsford-street-open-space