Melbourne urban sprawl to extend into six new suburbs over next 20 years

Larry SchlesingerDecember 8, 2020

Melbourne’s urban growth boundary will extend outwards over the next 20 years to incorporate six new fringe suburbs and provide new homes for up to 100,000 people.

The plans, unveiled by Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy, includes the development of six new metropolitan suburbs at Diggers Rest, Lockerbie, Lockerbie North, Manor Lakes, Merrifield West and Rockbank North and follow the completion of the Logical Inclusions Review of Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

The new suburbs will expand Melbourne’s urban boundary to the North (Mitchell and Whittlesea), to the West (Hume, Melton and Wyndham) and South East (Cardinia and Casey) by 6,000 hectares.

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The 6,000-hectare expansion is significantly less than the 43,000-hectare expansion planned under by the previous Victorian government.

Plans for the new suburbs include the building of new train station, town centres, open space and other key infrastructure

Over the next 20 years there will be

  • 3,800 homes developed for 10,700 residents in Diggers Rest in Melton as well as local town centre located, the extension of Houdini Drive, a multi-purpose community centre and additional sportsgrounds.
  • 10,500 new homes for 29,500 new residents in Lockerbie (incorporating parts of Hume, Mitchell and Whittlesea) as well as a new train station, a new north-south arterial road, three state primary schools and a secondary school, four new sports reserves and a new principal town centre next to the future train station.
  • 4,600 new homes for 13,000 new residents in Lockerbie North (incorporating parts of Mitchell and Whittlesea)  along with a new train station, a new north-south arterial road, two state primary schools and a secondary school, two new sports reserves, a transit oriented town centre next to the future train station.
  • 4,850 new homes for 13,500 new residents in Manor Lakes (in Wyndham) along with two state primary schools, two large new recreation reserves, a local town centre and an important new north-south arterial road.
  • 7,000 new homes for 20,000 in Merrifield West (in Hume) along with the development of two state primary schools, football and soccer grounds, two local town centres and a number of local parks
  • 6,650 new homes for 18,500 new resident in Rockbank (in Melton) over a longer 25 year time frame) along with the development of two state primary schools, a secondary school, three active recreation reserves, two local community facilities, higher order civic uses, passive recreation and linear trail network, a major and local town centre and an important east-west arterial road.



Merrifield West residents travelling into the city will have to rely on the Donnybrook V/Line rail station or drive seven kilometres to the Craigieburn rail station, while Rockbank North and Lockerbie residents will need to use already busy V/Line rail stations until the new train station proposed for Beveridge is completed. 

There will be an expansion of the Diggers Rest V/Line rail station.

Guy says the urban expansion plan will provide opportunities for Melbourne’s economic and social future.

“Housing, employment, infrastructure and all the other elements that make up our community need to be planned and implemented carefully,” he says

“The completion of this review will lead to urban growth boundary modifications to ensure adequate long-term land supply and enable planning for population growth to be completed well ahead of time.”

Many of these new outer suburbs are already the focus of new housing developments, with the March quarter Oliver Hume residential communities report noting that 10 new communities comprising a total of 3,400 lots launched over the first three months of the year.

Four of the 10 projects were located in Wyndham, three in Melton, two in Whittlesea and one in Hume.

The report says it would take 6.8 months to sell the current level of supply represents 6.8, exceeding the industry benchmark of six months for the first time since the September quarter of 2006.

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All municipalities experienced a rise in supply with 20 months’ worth of supply in Mitchell (Wallan-Beveridge) and also double-digit level of supply in Melton. The City of Hume is now the tightest market, with only 4.2 months of supply. 

The report also notes declining land prices with average lot prices having fallen $16,000 to a median of $210,000 from their peak of $225,750 in the December quarter of 2010, a fall of 7.5% over the 15 months.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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