New pocket park for North Melbourne gets tick of approval 

Brendan Rees

A new pocket park is coming to North Melbourne by transforming two existing reserves into a bigger park. 

The City of Melbourne endorsed the final concept plan for the Bedford St pocket park at its Future Melbourne Committee meeting on November 22 after community engagement was held in September.

“We’re forging ahead with the transformation of the Bedford St and Courtney St reserves in North Melbourne – creating a bigger, better and more connected pocket park for the benefit of the local community,” the council’s environment portfolio lead Cr Rohan Leppert said.

“The overwhelming majority of those who provided feedback on our draft concept plan for the park were supportive.” 

“We’re excited to get things under way and deliver this project for North Melburnians and visitors to our city.” 

The new park will create an additional 1500 sqms of open space and feature native plantings, trees, lawn areas, park furniture, a barbeque, and play equipment.

Construction of the park is expected to begin in mid-2023.

The existing reserves at the site include the Bedford St Reserve, an elevated, grassy open space located between Courtney, Capel and Bedford streets, while across the road is Courtney Street Reserve, a smaller triangular green space with young trees.     

The council sought community feedback on the Bedford St pocket park draft concept plan in September 2022 – the second round of formal community engagement. 


More than 90 per cent of the 134 respondents to the Participate Melbourne online survey were supportive of the draft concept plan, according to the council.


Feedback included a new barbecue, which a council report said would be kept in the final concept plan, “but it is proposed that its use is monitored for two years after installation, as community support for barbeque facilities does not always translate to on-site use”. 

“Should it be determined that the barbecue is not providing value for the community, an allowance will be made for it to be removed or relocated to another site where it can be better utilised,” the report said.

According to the council, four respondents to the survey expressed concern about the reduction in car parking or previous parking changes made to create the Peel St bike lane project. 

“Future parking provisions will prioritise resident parking and locate general parking in close proximity to businesses within the project area,” the council report said, adding about 28 car spaces had been proposed to create the new park.

Nineteen trees in stress or decline have been identified for removal as part of the project, but all existing mature Elm trees in the Bedford Street Reserve will be kept.

Seventy-nine new native and exotic tree species are proposed in the final concept design, the report said, increasing shade, canopy cover, and contribute to improving biodiversity and local area cooling in the warmer months. 

A rain garden is proposed for the Courtney St reserve, which would capture and filter stormwater before it is discharged to the drainage network. •


Caption: The Bedford St and Courtney St reserves will be transformed into a new Bedford St pocket park, which councillor Rohan Leppert says will be “bigger and better” for the community.

Photo: Ajay Viswanath.

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