In December 2021, in response to growing shortfalls in local health services, and following extensive community consultation, Council decided to sell land on Bell Street for the purposes of delivering a health and community services precinct.
You can read the 8 December 2021 Council Report to find out more about this decision.
Given the significance and level of community interest in this project, Council asked Coburg Health Hub Pty Ltd, the company that is delivering this project, to conduct additional engagement and to prepare a masterplan that captures key elements of the decision made by Council in December 2021.
Coburg Health Hub carried out community and stakeholder engagement throughout May and June 2022.
Feedback received has been incorporated into the Coburg Health Precinct Masterplan, endorsed by Council at the 10 August 2022 Council Meeting. You can read the Council Report and view the Masterplan to find out more.
Council’s decision will enable Coburg Health Hub to do the necessary work to prepare a detailed plan for the site and to then lodge this through the formal statutory planning process. Council will then assess this detailed plan and consider it at a meeting of the Planning and Related Matters Committee.
Why a health precinct for Coburg?
The new health precinct responds to identified local gaps in key health and community services, including GPs, aged care, childcare, dental, and allied health services, which will be provided at the health precinct. 73% of submissions from the community supported the proposal to use this land for this purpose.
Through the development of the proposal, Council has negotiated with Coburg Health Hub to secure additional community outcomes:
- A greater range of services accessible to all members of the Merri-bek community, including those on lower incomes. Over 50% of services in the new health precinct will be delivered by community providers and not for profit providers, such as Merri Health
- The heritage listed bluestone cottage complex on the site will be retained by Council, and will be upgraded in consultation with Coburg Historical Society, with a financial and in-kind contribution to the refurbishment works provided by Coburg Health Hub.
This is likely to occur in late 2023.
The Bluestone Cottage and the Coburg Historical Society
Following community feedback through the consultation process in 2021, Council decided to retain the bluestone cottage complex in its ownership and renew the lease of the Coburg Historical Society.
The building will be respectfully restored in line with its heritage status. The cottage works will include the construction of a new annex to replace the Coburg Historical Society’s existing facility, and the creation of a new historic garden. The works will be carried out by Coburg Health Hub with oversight from Council and input from the Coburg Historical Society.
Council will consider designs and options for these works in late 2023.