Project update - Community information sessions -What we heard

Thank you for attending the recent community information sessions.

Please find a copy of our 'What we heard report' below. This outlines the questions you asked and the actions we are taking.

Mount Evelyn - 'What we heard' report

Selecting the building colour

Initial designs were shared with the community in 2022, and thoroughly revised following feedback from residents, community groups, landowners and Yarra Ranges Council.

We then worked with a leading urban design agency on the visual amenity of the building – and in late 2023 asked you to help select the final finish of the building. The three colour options presented were endorsed by Yarra Ranges Council, and designed to reflect the natural environment of the area.

Thank you to everyone who participated. The winner is Pale Eucalypt (Mist Green), with 63% of the vote.

Artist's impression of mist green treatment plant building, situated behind a fence.

About the project

For more information about the project, including construction timelines and community impacts, visit the project page on the Melbourne Water website.

Mount Evelyn Water Treatment Plant - Tree removal and trimming map

Mount Evelyn Water Treatment Plant - Tree removal and trimming map

Project area map

Map of treatment plant site showing key buildings, fences, walls and earthworks

Frequently asked questions

Following consultation with key stakeholders and residents in late 2022, the project team has been hard at work revising the design of the treatment building and surrounding access roads. This has included engaging a leading external urban design agency to achieve a greater cohesion between the building and the natural landscape. The new and previous design can be seen in the below images.

Previous building design:

New building design:

As a direct result of feedback received on several aspects of the initial design, we have been working hard to revise these elements with the community’s sentiments in mind. The following changes have been made in response to that feedback:

Public access

We understand the importance of the pipe-track site location to the community in accessing surrounding trails after construction. The project team has narrowed the existing design of the internal access road loop by reducing the width of the final operational site. This has created a wider public thoroughfare between the operational fence and tree line.

Reduced public visibility

The operational building has been moved to sit further up the hill from the existing design with the length shortened to reduce its visibility from the road and properties. Additionally, generators have been reduced in capacity and integrated into the main building from the external operational area.

Residential screening maintained

The team has sought and received approval to relocate the power lines on the Tramway Rd side of the site. This change maximises the tree screening for residential properties on the south contributing to the reduction of the public visibility of the building. Some tree removal is still required on the Kuyayra/Murrumbung Roads side of the site to access one of the watermains but overall tree removal on this side of the site has been significantly reduced.

Reduction in overall tree removal

Tree removal on the northern side of the site is required for power line installation and construction works. Changes made to the loop road and location of powerlines has resulted in reduced overall tree removal from 89 to 66 trees between design phases (25 per cent reduction).

Due to the Bushfire Management Overlay planning zone, replanting is not proposed on the pipe track site. Melbourne Water will continue to work with the Mount Evelyn community on environmental improvement opportunities through existing programs such as Melbourne Water’s Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways grants.

We understand the build of this new facility is a significant change to the way the community currently uses the space. While we will be building our new treatment plant in this area, the outcome will include more space within the pipe track and around the building to allow for safe pedestrian access and use past the facility.

This means members of the community can continue to use the land recreationally and access the adjoining trails uphill of the facility.

As part of this project, vegetation and tree removal will still be required. We understand that tree has ecological and community value, and as part of design revision, we have taken every effort including hiring independent arborists to assess and evaluate each tree within the construction footprint to preserve as many trees as possible.

Within earlier designs of the treatment plant, 89 trees were to be removed as part of the project. We reviewed this design in late 2022 and have reduced tree removal to 66 trees. Predominantly, tree loss is due to the relocation of the power-lines. This was originally planned for the south of the building, however they will now be located north of the building, away from residents and in a cleared space of land to ensure a reduction in tree loss.

For more specific detail around tree removal refer to the Arborist Report (PDF, 5MB).

Our updated planning permit with revised designs were submitted to Council in late October 2023. This process will be run and led by Yarra Ranges Council under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment At 1987 (the Act).

The permit application process will include a community advertising period, done in the form of local signage displayed at the proposed site location/land and on the Yarra Ranges Council website. The community is given the opportunity to provide feedback on our planning permit submission on the Yarra Ranges Council website.

If your question isn't answered above, view our full list of frequently asked questions below: