Alternative Land-Use for the Site meeting Community Expectations


The former Port Phillip Woollen MIlls are vacant property and occupy a substantial site of about 3.2 hectares.  It would be irresponsible of the community to just say no to development. In the consultative process the community should present alternative development which meets with community needs and aspirations.  This will need to take into account height limits, mix of industrial/residential/business which might be appropriate, cost of land reclamation.

See below - community concepts for the site

Hobsons Bay Council has adopted Amendment C33 in June 2008, which sets out the sort of land use considered suitable for land which has previously been zoned industrial and which may be suitable for rezoning - see Industrial_Land_Management_Strategy240608.pdf

  1. -Precinct 20 covers the industrial zone on Nelson Place including the shipbuilding area and land to the south of Nelson Place - pages 26 and 63-64 provide for specific information on Precinct 20

  2. -To quote Precinct 20 p26  - “The Minister of Planning directed the Council to amend the Industrial Land Management Strategy to reflect the Government position on protecting the Port Environs.  In light of this the Council’s second option is to see the site redeveloped for professional service/commercial offices and light industries. These would also result in a desirable outcome which would assist in meeting the needs of the local population. Tourism uses could be considered appropriate depending on the individual proposal, which may further support the growing tourism industry in Williamstown.
    Land zoned IN3Z and IN1Z fronting Ann St, 55-57 Nelson Place (hotel) and 41 Nelson Place (motor mechanic) should be considered for residential purposes, to provide a better amenity outcome for residents on the opposite side of Ann St.”

On 29th July 2009 we issued a press release asking for alternative visions....

Save Williamstown Campaign Seeks Alternative Ideas for Port Phillip Woollen Mills Site

The Save Williamstown campaign established a Planning Policy subcommittee to draft the campaign's official response to the C75 amendment application lodged by Nelson Place Village Pty Ltd.

This subcommittee sought alternative visions for the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site to include in the campaign's official response. These concepts for the site were to be consistent with Williamstown's unique local character and heritage. The ideas should not threaten ongoing work at the shipyards, and should aim to create new jobs.

One of the positive aspects of the Save Williamstown campaign has been the number of local residents who have vibrant and creative ideas about what to do with the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site. The range and quality of the ideas stands in stark contrast to the developer's tired and unimaginative concept drawings, which are a dated example of top-down development.

Following meetings throughout August and September and extensive community consultation - three options have been developed to the stage of draft concepts.   A fourth option which was considered - a Junior Sports complex would require public ownership of the land.  See the Save Williamstown Press Release 4th October 2009.  It should be noted that further refinement of these concepts will be published later as architectural drawings for each concept.

  1. (1)The Williamstown Creative Industries/Health & Well-being Complex - is newly constructed buildings but retaining the facades of the corner hotels on Ann St and Aitkin St. It includes 3 purpose built film studios, directly behind these studios would be a three storey structure zoned for business/commercial purposes. The first two storeys would be a local business hub possibly offering offices to film & television production, including perhaps critical post-production facilities. The third storey could be an IT Hub and Conference Facilities including conference accommodation of up to 50 suites.  Over Aitkin Street and bordering Kanowna Street, would feature medical suites for medical and related health practitioners and a health & fitness program pool.  Adjacent to the residential streets of Cecil and Ann St - appropriate medium density residential development, including housing for the elderly (especially given its strategic proximity to a health & well-being complex), and still leave adequate space for 600 car parks. It also goes without saying that all existing heritage structures would be preserved.  Also within the complex a museum retail facility and the opportunity to visually interpret the history of Williamstown on the Nelson Place wall of the Film studios.

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  1. (2)The Williamstown Creative Industries Hub - The emphasis would be using existing buildings rather than new construction.   The main difference with this proposal would be one less film studio as well as no three storey commercial building.  Instead, two small lanes off Nelson Place and Kanowna Street would lead into a circular village open space. While the Titanic Theatre Restraurant end of the site would feature a Arts & Craft Bazaar within the converted warehouse structure

click on picture to enlarge
  1. (3)The Williamstown Arts Hub - the idea is to retain existing buildings including the 100 year old Nugget factory, Wool processing buildings, etc.  There will be some low level residences in Ann & Cecil Streets and some 3 storey residences on Nelson Place.  This will buffer the activity areas from existing residential areas.

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A fourth option, which would require Hobsons Bay Council acquiring the land from the developer, would be to provide a much needed Williamstown Junior Sports venue. The 3.2 hectares could provide a number of grounds and activities.  No drawings are available for this option.

If you have any comments on the concepts for the renewal of the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site, please share them with the Save Williamstown campaign by emailling


We have received positive ideas from the community as to what plans are suitable...

Update: 4 October 2009