Melton estate to rise as neighbours unite

The Eynesbury homestead in the area of developments near Melton.

A year after the state government controversially expanded the urban growth boundary to include 7000 hectares of green wedge and farmland, four neighbours controlling 62 hectares of cliff-top land abutting the picturesque Melton Reservoir have united to sell their homes to a developer for $26 million.

The four properties on Balmer Grange in Brookfield, 40 kilometres west of Melbourne, are expected to make way for one of the region’s most exclusive housing estates. The development follows nearby Eynesbury – being developed in stages on a rural property owned for years by the Baillieu family.

Lend Lease, Mirvac and Stockland are among developers in the area that is undergoing a growth spurt following a $15 billion commitment in 2006 by the state government and local council to replace farms with housing, infrastructure and workplaces.

The old Biz Hotel in South Melbourne where contestants on The Block Sky High are converting the property into luxury apartments.

About midway to Ballarat, the Melton region includes dramatic scenery – particularly around Toolern Creek and the Grey Box Forest – which forms the gateway for residents to reach Eynesbury.

The Melton Reservoir has been off limits to large-scale development until now. One of Melton’s most exclusive housing estates, with large blocks, is directly east of the reservoir surrounding the Strathtulloh mansion.

Andrew Egan of Biggin Scott Commercial Land said the Brookfield properties were included within government planning policies known as ”logical inclusions”. The farms are expected to be gazetted for more intense residential redevelopment shortly.

”The site was unique, offering panoramic frontage to the Melton Reservoir and when developed would likely see an additional 700 homes in the precinct,” he said.

Agency director Frank Nagle marketed the Brookfield blocks with Mr Egan. It is believed to have sold to a local syndicate.

A few kilometres from the Melton South train station and near the multibillion-dollar Atherstone housing estate and TABCorp Park, Brookfield is also close to the Woodgrove Shopping Centre.

The sale is not the first time rural western suburbs neighbours have united to attract developers. Last February, 12 property owners sold an adjoining 92-hectare slice of Rockbank to one buyer for $47 million.

Last month, the Napthine government pocketed more than $100 million selling a 125-hectare block at Point Cook West, 28 kilometres west of Melbourne, to Perth-based Satterley Property Group. Part of those funds will be invested on an interchange connecting the Sneydes Road site to the Princes Freeway. Biggin Scott Commercial Land also marketed that site.

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