Council buys ex-secondary school for park

Council is buying the Kilsyth site for half the market value.

Yarra Ranges Shire has concluded the purchase of Kilsyth’s former Pembroke Secondary College Cambridge campus from the Department of Treasury and Finance.

The $6.44 million price for the 3.581 hectare property, 150 Cambridge Road, was a 50 per cent discount to market value, when the negotiation was entered into in March.

Council rejected an opportunity to buy it in 2020 – but secured a 20 year lease on a small southern portion for an off-lead dog park.

It changed its mind after the land was rezoned ahead of a public listing where it would likely have attracted residential developers.

The property will now be used for open space, opening up the Elizabeth Bridge Reserve to Mountfield Rd.

Council reweighs portfolio

About $2.97m of the 150 Cambridge Rd purchase price was retrieved from the Walling Ward Public Open Space Fund (story continues below).

The balance came following agreements to sell four more council sites: in Kilsyth, at 182-184 Cambridge Rd (also known as the Morrison Crescent Reserve, pictured, top), 9a Tinnara Court and 9a Wallan Ct, and in Mooroolbark, 16 Ellis Ct.

The 150 Cambrige Rd site also once accommodated the Yarra Hills Secondary College, which merged with Mooroolbark Secondary College and Mount Evelyn Secondary College.

Buildings on the site were razed about 10 years ago.

Kilsyth is about 36 kilometres east of Melbourne.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of