Delivering a vibrant future for local tenants and communities, the sites at Bell/Bardia and Tarakan, Heidelberg West are 10km from the CBD in the City of Banyule.
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About the project

The redevelopment sites at Heidelberg West will offer increased housing opportunities for more Victorians than ever before with a range of new and improved housing solutions being delivered. The sites are well serviced and close to, education facilities, employment, support services and shopping areas.

The buildings on the site, known as “walk-ups”, were built in the 1950s and are no longer suitable for the current needs of Victoria’s social housing individuals and families.

The renewal of Bell/Bardia and Tarakan public housing estates in Heidelberg West will replace old, run down housing with well-designed homes that will respond well to the neighbourhood character and improve the local area. It will provide over 560 new homes across the two sites including over 280 new homes for social housing tenants and over 280 homes to be offered as private rental housing. The design of the new estates builds on previous input from the community and will feature modern sustainable design with improved open space and other features that everyone can enjoy.

Benefits of the Bell/Bardia project include:

  • A new north-south open space corridor through the site, linking Mulberry Parade with Bell Street
  • New centrally located open spaces
  • Well-lit communal open spaces, retaining as many existing trees as possible
  • Retention of as many trees as possible on the site and where removal is necessary, significant trees will be replaced on a two-to-one ratio.

Benefits of the Tarakan project include:

  • Well-lit communal open spaces, retaining as many existing trees as possible
  • Connections to the nearby St Pius Parish and primary school open space and community garden.
  • Design that will encourage and maximise lines of sight and safety
  • Retention of as many trees as possible on the site and where removal is necessary, significant trees will be replaced on a two-to-one ratio.

Project timeline

  • 2017: Planning scheme amendment process commences
  • 2017: Community engagement and formal exhibition of planning scheme amendment.
  • March 2018: Minister approval for planning scheme amendments
  • 2019: Relocation of tenants and preparing the site for demolition
  • Late 2019/2020: Preparation of draft masterplan
  • June/July 2020: Community engagement to seek feedback on draft masterplan

Consultation on the Masterplan

Through the planning scheme amendment process the community has shared valuable feedback on how the design of the sites should provide open space, increased accessibility and safety and sustainable design features. The community feedback has been incorporated into the draft masterplans for each site and is underpinned by the department’s principles to masterplan development which includes:

  • Providing strong connections through sites
  • Retaining trees where possible
  • Maximising building heights adjacent to Bell Street and Melbourne Polytechnic 
  • Creating a residential scale along local streets

View the draft masterplans and project update for further details.

Provide your feedback on the draft plans

The draft masterplan complies with the DPO requirements, and we are now seeking further input from the community on:

  • How else connections within the sites could be improved
  • The type and locations of amenities in the open space
  • What else would make open spaces feel safe
  • What facilities should be included in the backyards
  • General concerns or improvements to the plans to help mitigate impacts on the local community.

We are now seeking your further input on the draft plans.

Between 16 June and 6 July 2020, you can provide feedback by:

  1. Completing the online survey via this link. The survey will be open until Monday 6 July 2020. 
  2. Participating in a 1.5-hour online workshop via Zoom to discuss and give feedback on the draft plans. There are two sessions available to the general public. Register now
    • Session 1: Wednesday 1 July 2020 at 6.30pm-8.00pm
    • Session 2: Thursday 2 July 2020 at 1.30pm – 3.00pm

If you need help with online access or interpretation service, please call our project hotline on (03) 9021 0617 or email

Town planning and past engagement

In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services undertook a town planning process (known as a planning scheme amendment) to enable the sites to be redeveloped.

This involved community consultation on an indicative design during the planning scheme amendment process.

As part of this process, the Minister for Planning established the independent Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee to review and make recommendations on design parameters for the redevelopment, including matters such as building heights, setbacks and open space.

The Minister for Planning approved the Planning Scheme Amendments C118 and C150 to the Banyule Planning Scheme in March 2018.

You can view the details of the amendment, the Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee report and other relevant documents at Social housing renewal page of planning.vic site. 

The staged demolitions process has commenced across both sites to ensure resident safety and amenity is maintained throughout the process.

The next steps for the redevelopment of the Heidelberg West site will involve the preparation of a development plan and planning permit application that is compliant with the planning controls established for the site. A masterplan has been prepared to consider the best design outcomes for the site, incorporating feedback from past consultation. 

Relocations and demolition

Over 95 per cent of all households have been relocated to suitable accommodation through the relocations process to date. All residents will have the right to return to the redeveloped estates under a legally binding deed poll. 

The staged demolitions process has commenced across both sites to ensure resident safety and amenity is maintained throughout the process.

Demolition of the existing properties will take place throughout 2020 by the department’s specialised demolition contractors, Delta Group and Independent Demolition Pty Ltd. Following demolition, the site will be left clean, fenced and grass-seeded to minimise dust. 

Consultative Committee

Community engagement is a key element of Public Housing Renewal Program. Department of Health and Human Services has established a Consultative Committee for the renewal of the Heidelberg West sites. 

The committee, chaired by Anthony Carbines MP - State Member for Ivanhoe, brings together key community members and representatives of local organisations to provide advice on the redevelopment of the sites. It enables ongoing and two-way feedback through an active participatory approach with the local community, tenants and affected stakeholders. 

All members of the committee provide advice and feedback on redevelopment plans and identify local issues and matters of concern as they arise. Members of the committee are tasked with communicating the progress of the redevelopment back to their communities to support the successful delivery of the project.

Further information

Project contact
Holly O’Connell-Paladino, Senior Project Manager -

For further information on the project, consultative committee, or to register to receive project updates, please email