Mirvac, Boral in big land deal
MIRVAC and construction materials supplier Boral are partnering in a residential subdivision in the city's north that one day could become home to more than 6000 people.
The deal will see Boral abandon its plan to open a quarry on a big track of land in Donnybrook, which was jeopardised when the Baillieu government opened the area to housing development after expanding the urban growth boundary.
Mirvac has paid Boral $11.8 million for 127 hectares of vacant land along Donnybrook Road, about 30 kilometres north of the CBD off the Hume Highway.
In a second deal, Boral will retain ownership of another 60 hectares that will eventually be developed on their behalf by Mirvac.
The two sites are located about three kilometres east of the future suburb of Lockerbie, one of six new suburbs created by the state government on the Melbourne's urban fringe last year.
Under the existing precinct structure plan (PSP), about 29,000 people are expected to call Lockerbie home within 30 years.
Those growth projections now appear to be understated, with Mirvac and Boral expected to seek planning approval to bring a further 6000 residents into the neighbouring area. Subdivision and settlement of the land into 2250 lots is expected to begin in 2017.
"This site represents a great opportunity for a future master-planned community in Melbourne's north," said John Carfi, Mirvac's chief of residential development.
"The development will also provide a significant boost to construction-related employment."
Listed company Boral, which is the nation's largest building and construction materials supplier, bought the farmland in the mid-1980s, earmarking it as a future quarry containing about $1.8 billion worth of stone.
But Boral has reported that "residential encroachment" following the expansion of the urban growth boundary had put the viability of the planned quarry in serious doubt.
In testimony before a state parliamentary committee last year, Boral Quarries' Victorian manager, Paul Hillyer, said the government's move had effectively "sterilised" the site without consultation.
"Poor planning decisions are resulting in our existing operations coming under threat from urban encroachment, and new operations are becoming much harder to establish," he said.
Mr Hillyer said homes had reached as a close as 200 metres from the operating face of the group's Montrose quarry.
Boral declined to comment on the sale or development plans.