The consolidation of Council assets questions the future of other sites within the Hampton activity centre. With the user groups relocated into a community hub, the following sites have been identified as surplus sites. Whilst the disposal of public land can be a controversial issue, there is little benefit in retaining these sites if the users (and indeed most other community groups operating in the area) are located in a new hub.
The two sites outside the Willis Street and Library precincts that would be surplus to requirements include:
Hampton Senior Citizens Centre at 14 Service Street
Hampton Maternal and Child Health Centre at 483 Hampton Street
Were these sites to be sold, the funds would be reinvested to fund the construction of the community hub and the improvements to the public realm.
Each of these sites has planning controls in place that provide an indication of the likely development outcomes that could occur at the site. The planning controls and likely development outcomes for each site are summarised below.
In addition to those sites, there are two further sites that are outside the Activity Centre boundary that Council will consider disposing of in order to contribute to the funding of the new Hub. These will need to be subject to further processes and Council decisions.
Brighton South Playhouse, at 665 Hampton Street, Brighton; and
Hampton Community Kindergarten, at 1A Myrtle Road, Hampton
Hampton Senior Citizens Centre
Located at 14 Service Street, Hampton.
The site is currently within the General Residential Zone Schedule 2 and is affected by overlays including the Design and Development Overlay Schedule 12 and the Development Contributions Plan Overlay Schedule 1. These controls generally encourage infill development due to the site’s location within an activity centre and restrict development to a maximum height of 3 storeys.
If the site is to be sold, it is most likely that the site highest development outcome would be for the site to be developed with townhouses of up to three storeys. It is unlikely that the site would be developed with apartments due to the size of the lot.
Retaining the site does not provide significant community benefits – the site is too small to be useful as public open space, and the purpose of relocating the Senior Citizens Centre user groups into a combined facility will result in the site being surplus to requirements. It is anticipated that the revenue generated from the sale of the site would be directed towards the construction of the new hub building.
Hampton Maternal and Child Health Centre
Hampton Maternal and Child Health Centre at 483 Hampton Street.
The site is currently within the Commercial 1 Zone and is affected by overlays including the Design and Development Overlay Schedule 12, the Development Contributions Plan Overlay Schedule 1 and the Heritage Overlay Schedule 508. With the maternal and childcare centre being relocated into a new hub, this site becomes surplus to requirements and Council must consider alternate opportunities for the site.
Whilst the sale of the site has been considered, due to the constraints of the site it may be challenging to sell, and the Heritage Overlay that applies to the site may create some reputational risk to Council were it to sell a heritage asset to a developer.
Rather than proceeding with the sale of the site, it may be preferable for Council to undertake works to the site to make it a more fit-for-purpose medical centre and aim to seek a long term tenant for the building. The revenue generated from leasing the premises could be directed towards offsetting the construction costs of the new hub building.
Brighton South Playhouse and Hampton Community Kindergarten
The Playhouse is expected to be used to temporarily accommodate early years services whilst capital projects outlined in the Early Years Infrastructure Plan 2018 - 2028 are being delivered. Following the completion of several early years infrastructure projects that will result in several uses temporarily operating from the Playhouse, the Playhouse building will remain vacant.
Disposing of the site to contribute to the increased and improved community facilities in the new Hub will ensure that the costs of construction are reduced, and that the early years facilities are grouped together in the area.
If there is no capacity for the Hampton Community Kindergarten to grow or to be modified to accommodate both 3 and 4 year old funded kindergarten programs, and these services are instead to be offered as part of the future Community Hub, Council will consider disposing of the Myrtle Road site so as to assist to generate the funds required to build the new facility as part of the Hub. These disposals will be subject to separate statutory processes however are being identified now given the relevance of the Hub project from the Masterplan. Further consideration will need to be given to the sites to be disposed of once Council confirms the range of uses and the scale of the new Community Hub.