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About the proposal

We proposed to sell Serpells Lane car park to Swinburne University. This land is owned by Council and located at 399 Burwood Road in Hawthorn.

We proposed to sell this land for $16 million (plus GST).

Our research showed that the Council-owned land was underutilised, and mostly used as a student and staff car park. It could be doing much more to benefit the Boroondara community.

Our traffic analysis reports showed that car parking demand could be accommodated with the existing car parking areas in Glenferrie. There are 1,641 off-street public car parks in the Glenferrie precinct, including the Serpells Lane car park. You can read the traffic reports in the Document library on this page.

At the precinct’s most busy period, which is between 11 am to 2 pm, typically up to 80% of this car park capacity is filled. That leaves just over 200 spaces available in the precinct – which more than offsets a loss of parking from Serpells Lane car park. At non-peak times, there would be even more available spaces.

By selling directly to Swinburne University, we are supporting a development that will integrate the land into the existing campus. Swinburne plays an important role in our municipality and offers community benefit beyond what a private development may create. We want to ensure a positive outcome is achieved for the community by realising a return on this underutilised asset to enable investment in new projects to the benefit of the Boroondara community.

A map of Serpells Lane car parking area in between Glenferrie Shopping Centre and Swinburne University

A map of Serpells Lane car park indicated by the P symbol. Pink areas with hatching represent the Glenferrie Shopping Centre precinct. Yellow areas represent Swinburne University.

Conditions of sale

After community consultation has ended, if Council decides to sell Serpells Lane car park to Swinburne University, there will be conditions placed on the sale (through a Section 173 Agreement under the Planning and Environment Act 1987).

Conditions of sale include:

  • Swinburne must provide Council with the details of its vision for the use of the site. This includes submitting a concept plan, which adheres to these conditions of sale, to Council before starting any development on the land. Swinburne commits to development providing either:
    • state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and technology-based research facilities for undergraduate and higher degree students and local visiting researchers; and/or
    • fit-for-purpose spaces for industry partners to work and collaborate with students and academics on campus.
  • The development must be in line with the Glenferrie Structure Plan, Glenferrie Place Plan and any other endorsed Council Plan or Strategy which applies to the site and surrounding area.
  • Swinburne must provide car parking for all new uses of the site, in line with the provisions of the Boroondara Planning Scheme.
  • Swinburne must also provide an additional 37 public car parking spaces at the Serpells Lane site or at another location as agreed by Council, above what the Boroondara Planning Scheme requires for the site. Two traffic analysis reports show that the car park is mostly used by people associated with Swinburne University, with the public using only 29 or 32 spaces. In addition, even at peak times, there is sufficient public parking available to offset any parking potentially removed in the development of the land. If the car parking spaces are provided at another location, then any existing public parking there must not be reduced in number. In addition, the parking fee charged for use of these spaces should be within 15% of the fee charged by Council for similar parking in the locality.

What we heard from the community

In October 2023, we asked you for your feedback about the proposal to sell the property to Swinburne University.

We received 109 submissions including:

  • 21 people who supported the proposal
  • 81 people who opposed the proposal
  • 4 people who shared mixed views
  • 3 people who were considered neutral.