Council moves to revitalise heart of Eltham

Published on 31 January 2018

Eltham photograph

Nillumbik Shire Council will seek the community’s views on plans to revitalise the centre of Eltham.

Council at its Tuesday night meeting (30 January) voted to push ahead and explore future potential uses of what is commonly known as the former Eltham Shire office site and abutting civic uses.

Nillumbik Mayor Peter Clarke said the move follows years of discussion and indecision about what to do with the vacant site.

“The former Eltham Shire office site in Main Road has sat empty for more than 25 years costing ratepayers’ money to maintain and limiting opportunities to create a real focal point for the heart of Eltham,” Cr Clarke said.

“Council’s decision to seek the community’s views on how to maximise the benefits of this precinct will come as no surprise to anyone, given how long it has been talked about.

“This current council is being proactive and looks to achieve an outcome that will create architectural excellence.

“We want to consult the community about ways to revitalise the site as a real focal point for Eltham, better linking the former Shire Office site and the library with the town centre and train station and generating employment opportunities.”

Council will seek the community’s views on a range of uses and built form for the site along with an adjacent parcel of land at 903-907 Main Road.

Potential options could include:

  • Development of a civic precinct, including art gallery space to house the shire’s public art collection
  • Community hub with council support services, such as maternal and child health
  • Art Series style tourist accommodation to promote tourism and create local jobs
  • Tourist information centre
  • Landscaped civic promenade and retention of cenotaph as a focal point
  • Council and commercial office space to attract jobs and businesses to the shire

Stringent planning controls will ensure any future development on the site reflects Eltham’s character and complies with the current planning scheme.

Nillumbik’s Council Plan 2017-2021, developed in conjunction with the community, identifies the development of a visionary plan for the area as one of council’s key priorities.

A thorough community engagement process will be undertaken in the coming months.