Overview

Making a better neighbourhood

Vision

Virginia Hill will become well-connected to the surrounding area, embracing its location in the heart of Eaglehawk. It will include a mix of housing types in a range of sizes to support a welcoming, inclusive, and family-friendly community.

Direction

  • Explore opportunities to change the site layout
  • Explore the introduction of a mix of social, affordable and private housing
  • Better connect the neighbourhood with the surrounding area
  • New housing should add variety, including housing for single people, couples and families
  • Consider the social services and facility needs of the community

Proposed changes

New housing

  • Deliver modern new homes in a range of sizes in the heart of Eaglehawk, mostly townhouses and some apartments

Connections

  • Deliver new and more accessible vehicle and pedestrian connections through the site to encourage movement and make streets safer
  • Improve the steep and undulating site with earthworks and retaining walls to create a renewed residential area

Open space

  • Deliver new public open space (the proposed Gateway Park) at the intersection of Sailors Gully Road and Darling Street to link with the surrounding area and create a welcoming arrival space to the neighbourhood

Community

  • Better integrate the neighbourhood with the surrounding community through new outward-facing homes around the edge of the site

Explore the different elements of the draft masterplan below or download a printable version of the plan.

Draft masterplan

Context

About the region

Bendigo has a growing population of more than 110,000.

It is an important service and infrastructure centre for north central Victoria, and the state’s third largest economy base.

Eaglehawk is the main population centre to the north of Bendigo, located about 5.5km northwest of the city centre. The area is located on the Loddon Valley Highway which connects Bendigo to the state’s north and Eaglehawk to the Bendigo city centre.

About the Virginia Hill neighbourhood

Located in Eaglehawk, Virginia Hill is bound by Sailors Gully Road, Kirkwood Road, and Turnbull and Darling Streets.

The neighbourhood is well located within walking distance of the town centre (400m) and Eaglehawk Train Station (300m) that connects to Greater Bendigo and Melbourne.

Site snapshot:

  • 2.95 hectares in size
  • Built in 1984, the area was formerly the site of considerable mining activity
  • 64 public housing dwelling
  • Mostly single person households
  • High resident turnover, with about 45% of tenants living in their homes for less than 2 years

Neighbourhood

What will the neighbourhood look like?

  • More than 120 new homes in the neighbourhood, replacing 64 ageing homes
  • A mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom energy efficient and environmentally sustainable homes, making homes more comfortable and less expensive to heat and cool
  • New and improved public spaces, and new roads and pedestrian paths providing better connections to the broader neighbourhood
  • Growth in social housing, alongside new affordable and private housing
  • Growth in affordable housing for first home buyers and key workers, supporting the local economy
  • At least 5% of the new social housing will be available for people with disabilities

Public spaces

Better public spaces

The proposed design focusses on

  • creating a safe, vibrant, accessible and inviting destination that is sensitive to the existing terrain
  • encouraging pedestrian access and movement that is also easy for cars and bikes to navigate.

An open space “Gateway Park” is planned on the corner of Darling Street and Sailors Gully Road. This will provide an entrance to the neighbourhood and be an informal recreation area, linking with the broader path network and Canterbury Park.

Access and movement

Easier access and better movement

We’re planning new roads and shared trails to make moving around easier. Here are some of the ideas that have come up through our consultations to date.

Local traffic

All new roads will meet Council standards.

A typical 16m wide street has been proposed, with:

  • a 3.1m central carriageway for two-way traffic
  • parallel on-street car parking either side

The road will be bordered by 4.3 metres wide nature strips, which will include kerbs, pedestrian paths, tree planting and stormwater management features.

Walking

Tree-lined footpaths are planned through the centre of Virginia Hill, providing connections to places like:

  • Canterbury Park precinct
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Eaglehawk Town Centre
  • former Virginia Mine Site
  • Eaglehawk Train Station

Safer Streets

Paths will be well lit and connected to nearby homes, ensuring a safe and inviting space.

Garden beds, congregation areas and informal seating will be located throughout.

Pedestrians are prioritised where footpaths intersect with the roads, with raised crossings, road narrowing and speed rumble strips to control vehicle speeds in these areas.

Better Connected

A new dedicated pedestrian route from Kirkwood Road to the centre of the neighbourhood will allow people to move freely across Virginia Hill.

The pedestrian link will be 6m wide, with outdoor areas connected by steps at intervals to best manage the slope across this site.

Other considerations

Ideas for the community

Virginia Hill enjoys access to a range of services in nearby Eaglehawk, but residents have told us they feel disconnected from these. Virginia Hill has become isolated by its boundaries, poor presentation and perception.

The site features a small community room on Sovereign Court that is used once a week and can only accommodate meetings of 4 people. Nearby, the Access Australia Group (located opposite the library), Eaglehawk Community House and Bendigo Community Health Centre provide important social services.

In partnership with Council and local community organisations, we’ve identified opportunities that could help residents, including:

  • improving awareness of the services and facilities around the area with signs and information
  • arts grants to improve the look and feel of the neighbourhood
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria Local Sports Infrastructure Fund grants for community facilities and shared paths
  • local community place-making activities

Infrastructure works

Virginia Hill is surrounded by a network of utility infrastructure. Power, gas, water, sewage and telecommunications to service new homes will be supplied below ground through the reserve areas of new roads, linking to existing connections on the edge of the neighbourhood.

Relocation of current residents

To make this project a reality, we need to replace some of the ageing housing stock in the neighbourhood.

We’ll work closely with affected residents to understand their needs, find a suitable home and assist their relocation while the works are being completed.

Residents that are required to relocate will have the opportunity to return to a brand new home in the neighbourhood upon the completion of the works.


Survey

Our online survey is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback.

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You may contact us to request access to your personal information, or for other concerns regarding the privacy of your personal information by emailing privacy@dffh.vic.gov.au