Melton West farm abutting Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary trades for $7.5 million

A local developer is paying $7.5 million for a Melton West farm abutting Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary.

The 13 hectare rectangle shaped site at 557-599 Harkness Road is being encroached upon by housing estates to its north and east.

To the west – outside of the UGB (where large scale building is not permitted) – is Djerriwarrh Creek and the Long Forest Conservation Reserve.

The Harkness Road land falls within the area covered by the Melton West Precinct Structure Plan but is not yet ready to be replaced with houses: that should be five to seven years away following a rezoning.

Once gazetted, however, the block can feasibly be subdivided into between 170-190 residential blocks.

The site (marked) is three kilometres west of Woodgrove Shopping Centre and six kilometres north west of the Melton train station. Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary, also marked, doesn’t (yet) extend west of Harkness Road.

Under bidder was an offshore developer

The property is a few hundred metres away from Old Western Highway and High Street.

It is west about three kilometres from QIC’s Woodgrove Shopping Centre, five kilometres from the Melton town centre, and six kilometres north west of the Melton train station.

Knight Frank’s Ed Wright and Danny Clark with Gorman Commercial’s Jonathan McCormack and Stephen Gorman, with JACX as transaction manager, marketed 557-599 Harkness Road with the option of a long settlement

An expressions of interest campaign which closed in September was contested by eight groups, the agents said, including a local syndicate and other local builders. An offshore developer was the under bidder.

The agents said the block’s almost square shape, and its flatness, meant any incoming owner could create an “efficient” master plan using all of the area.

Eleven new names for Melton

The Melton municipality, about 40 kilometres west of the CBD, is one of Melbourne’s fastest growing with population expected to reach nearly 480,000 by 2051.

In mid-2017 the council gazetted parts of Melton, Melton South, Melton West, Mt Cottrell, Plumpton and Rockbank to create 11 new suburbs: Aintree, Bonnie Brook, Cobblebank, Deanside, Fieldstone, Fraser Rise, Grangefields, Strathtulloh, Thornhill Park and Weir Views.

The 557-599 Harkness Road holding falls close to the new suburb classified as Harkness.

In June we reported that interests associated with Riverlee paid Ouson Group $46.5 million for a 61.4 hectare site at 246-344 Troups Road South, Mt Cottrell.

A month earlier, Goldfields Group paid $20 million for a 12-hectare Plumpton (Fraser Rise) site.

In mid-2018 Ouson Group sold the 23.5 hectare former Melton Driving Range at 1-15 Ferris Road (land now classified as Cobblebank) for $11.15 million – triple what it paid two years earlier.

A 16.8 hectare semi-rural property at 60-72 Bridge Road, between Lendlease’s new Atherstone estate, and the part of Melton South developed in the 1970s and 1980s, also recently traded, for more than $13 million.

Thornhill Park, a project master planned by former AFL footballer turned developer, Andrew Welsh, and Mirvac’s Woodlea are also taking shape in the (Rockbank) region.

The 246-344 Troups Road South block is close to several new housing estates. The 61.4 hectare site was acquired in June by interests associated with developer Riverlee, which controls a site the same size next door.

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Marc Pallisco

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