Just as the Bradmill Textiles factory in Francis St was woven into the working class history of Yarraville, so is the housing development site woven into the suburb’s current issues – trucks, affordability and schools.
A request to rezone the 26ha Bradmill Textiles site in Francis St from industrial to residential was first lodged with Maribyrnong Council in January 2007.
It was formally adopted by the council in November 2009 but had sat on the former Planning Minister’s desk until the new Minister Matthew Guy gave it the green light recently.
The proposal for more than 1000 houses, a community centre and shopping precinct will add about 13,000 cars to a congested Francis St and put pressure on calls for a highschool for the area.
Opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee said the long wait for approval was because the site was “trapped” between the West Gate Freeway and “one of the busiest truck arterial roads”.
He said the Labor Government had planned for the Truck Action Plan to be under construction and possible site contamination investigated before it approved the rezoning.
“There’s a lack of detail, no commitment or funding for a school, which the community is already calling for,” Mr Tee said.
Mr Guy said the Government was committed to fast tracking urban renewal and making houses more affordable by increasing supply.
He said transport issues had been “factored in”.
His spokeswoman said a council condition that an Environmental Audit and Site Remediation Strategy be done would be adhered to.
Western Metropolitan Liberal MP Bernie Finn said Roads Minister Terry Mulder had “taken an interest” in the problem but not necessarily the Truck Action Plan.
Asked whether the problem would be addressed before people moved into Bradmill, which is not expected to be until after 2016, Mr Finn said: “I’m not sure whether I’d go that far”.
Maribyrnong Mayor Sarah Carter said she was not concerned about the lack of detail.
But she could not say the congestion issue had been “conclusively addressed”.
Maribyrnong Truck Action Plan spokesman Peter Knight said that without the West Gate on and off ramps, it would be “utter chaos”.
SKY High spokeswoman Janine Lloyd said the location, next to McIvor Reserve, made the Bradmill site perfect for a secondary school.