Draft Park Close to Home: A Plan to Fill Open Space Gaps

Current status of the 'Park Close to Home'

Council undertook consultation on the draft Park Close to Home (PDF 7Mb) in October 2017, and held three consultation sessions. Submissions on the Draft Park Close to Home closed on the 3 November 2017. 

All submissions received have been reviewed by Council officers, and the issues raised in submissions have been considered in the final version of A Park Close to Home prepared by Council officers. At the 6 December 2017 Council Meeting, Council will consider a Report that:

  • details the submissions received;
  • provides a response to submissions; and
  • recommends that Council adopt a final version of A Park Close to Home. The final version will be included as an attachment to the Council Report. 

This report to Council, which will include the final Park Close to Home proposed for adoption, will be available on Council's website on the afternoon of the Friday 1 December 2017. (The Report and final Park Close to Home will be included as part of the agenda for the 6 December Council Meeting.)

Contact Councils Strategic Planning Unit via email or phone 9240 1111 if you have any questions about the Park Close to Home.

Why did Council draft the Park Close to Home?

With a baby boom underway and more people than ever choosing to make Moreland their home, Moreland’s community is rapidly growing.

This growth places pressure on all of our existing infrastructure, including open space, so Council is investing in its existing parks and working to create new local parks in areas with the lowest access to open space. 

Council is committed to creating new open space and the Council Plan (2017-2021) prioritises the creation of at least two new parks in areas with the lowest access to open space. The Park Close to Home will help deliver on this commitment. 

How is open space funded?

To help pay for new open spaces, Council collects funds from developers when land is subdivided. This money is put into an Open Space Fund and is then used to create or upgrade open spaces across Moreland.

The Park Close to Home plan has been designed to help guide how and where to spend this money to create new open space where it is needed most.

How will Council decide where to spend the Open Space Fund?

The draft Park Close to Home identified “gap” areas in the community where residents are not within walking distance to their closest park.

To guide Council on which gap areas to tackle first, the draft plan gives gap areas a high, medium or low priority based on the following information:

  • Population density in the gap area
  • Future population growth in the suburb
  • The number of properties  in the gap area, and;
  • The existing open space amount per person by suburb.

Click on your neighbourhood below to find out about the draft gap areas in your suburb, and their priority as included in the Draft Park Close to Home:

Draft Suburb snapshots

Get more information on Draft Park Close to Home

Read the draft Park Close to Home Information Sheet (PDF 119Kb).

Read the Draft Park Close to Home (PDF 7Mb).

See the Open Space Gap Areas and Priorities: (PDF 3Mb) included in the Draft version of the Park Close to Home

Map detailing Open Space Gap Areas and Priorities for Park Close to Home project 

Read our FAQ on Open Space and the Open Space Fund at the bottom of this web page.

Frequently asked questions about open space and the open space fund

What is open space?

The Moreland Open Space Strategy defines open space as public land that has a leisure, sport, landscape value, habitat conservation, environmental or visual amenity function and / or is zoned or reserved for public parks or conservation purposes.

Open space may include sports fields, conservation areas, playgrounds, recreation trails, as well as public land that may be provided for drainage or utility purposes, that is used or valued for leisure and environmental purposes. It is acknowledged that open space may not always be green; it may be paved, such as in a town square, mall or plaza.

Why does Council have an Open Space Fund, and who pays it?

The Subdivision Act 1988 allows Council to seek a cash payment or land contribution (or a combination of both) towards open space at the time of subdivision of land.

The funds must be spent on open space.

How much open space contribution does Council receive? Where has Council spent it?

The table 1 (below) provides an overview of the past 8 years of income and expenditure from the fund on an overall Moreland and per suburb basis.

The income is spread across Moreland, and shows that growth in housing is occurring right across the municipality, through different housing types. 

Table 1: Open Space Fund income and expenditure for the past 8 years (suburb based)













Brunswick East





Brunswick West










Coburg North

























Oak park





Pascoe Vale





Pascoe Vale South
















How much money is currently in the Open Space Contribution fund?

As of August 2017, the current balance of the Open Space Fund was approximately $37 million.

Is the open space fund spent on improving existing open space?

Yes. At the September Council Meeting, Council resolved to allocate approximately ten percent of the previous full financial year’s income to the fund, on open space improvement projects across Moreland. Find out more about this by reading the September Council Report.

What about other open space outside of the draft gap areas?

The Moreland Open Space Strategy sets out actions that will improve open space across Moreland. Activity Centre Structure plans and other documents also identify open space projects that can be funded through the open space fund.

By making open space gap areas the priority for proactive open space expenditure as proposed in the Draft Park Close to Home, other open space needs will become a lower priority for expenditure of the open space fund in the short term.

This does not mean the spending on these other items will not occur. The Draft Park Close to Home suggests that any decision made on spending the fund on any other open space need (apart from creating new open space in the gap areas), must be considered in light of whether it will effect provision of new open space in the high and medium priority gap areas.

Ongoing monitoring of the Park Close to Home is proposed to ensure its effectiveness, and allow for informed decision making about how the fund is spent on open space.

How will Council buy the land to create new open space if Park Close to Home is adopted?

The Park Close to home proposes a proactive approach to land purchase, by either negotiating purchase with landowners, purchasing through the open market, and/or acquiring land in lieu of a cash based open space contribution. No landowner will be forced to sell their land, and the land will not be compulsorily acquired. Lease agreements or shared use agreements may also be pursued to improve service to open space gap areas.

What are draft open space gap areas?

The gap areas in the draft Park Close to Home are the parts of Moreland that don’t have walkable access to open space. Gap areas do not have the access to open space, of any size or type within a walkable distance. 

What are the draft high and medium priority gap areas?

High and medium priority gap areas have been identified in the Draft Park Close to Home based on four factors shown in the below table.

These factors were then each given a weighting, to be able to come up with a score for each gap area. The higher the score, the more of a priority it is for Council to fill.

See the maps in the Park Close to Home or the Suburb Snapshots to see the draft high, medium and low priority gap areas.

How we decided the draft high/medium/low priority areas:

Reason for considering this:

Existing number of properties in the gap area – 50%   weighting

The number of properties in a gap area indicates how many people will benefit if the gap area is closed through  creation of open space. A 50% weighting has been attributed to this factor as these areas currently have no walkable access to open space of any size or type.

Density of properties within the gap area – 15% weighting

Where residential densities are higher, gardens are likely to be smaller. It is appropriate to prioritise gap areas that have higher density houses in them (eg. apartments).

Existing open space provision in each suburb – 25%   weighting

To ensure that new open space is provided in suburbs that have the lowest existing open space amouns, this factor has been given a significant weighting of 25%.

Dwelling forecasts – 10%

It is appropriate to prioritise gap areas where population   is forecast to grow most significantly. 


When did Council endorse the Draft Park Close to Home for consultation?

At the 13 September Council Meeting. Read the Council Report and Council Resolution.