25 October 2022


Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) will shape the future liveability, productivity and connectivity of Melbourne. SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill will link major employment, health, education and retail destinations in Melbourne’s east and south east.

The new rail line will reduce travel times and create up to 8000 direct local jobs during construction.

A new underground station at Burwood will deliver a train line to the doorstep of one of Australia’s biggest universities for thousands of staff and students, and also to key destinations across Melbourne.

A pedestrian overpass will be built across Burwood Highway, making the station easy and safe to access, and work will be undertaken to revitalise Gardiners Creek adjacent to the station area.

Closure of Sinnott Street Reserve during construction

The existing Sinnott Street Reserve at Burwood is required for the construction of SRL East (Cheltenham to Box Hill). The reserve, including the Burwood Skyline Drive-in playground and community barbeque facilities, will be closed so we can safely build the new underground station at Burwood.

Gathering feedback from the community helps us to understand what people value most in local public open space areas, including Sinnott Street Reserve.

Throughout June 2022, we asked the community for their ideas for this replacement park including types of play equipment, recreational space or amenities such as seating, accessibility improvements, shelter and lighting.

This feedback was captured on the Engage Victoria website through an online survey and interactive map activity.

Have Your Say – Burwood Public Open Space

From 30 May to 30 June, we collected feedback from the community and local park user groups through Engage Victoria.

To support this engagement we provided information on the Burwood Public Open Space consultation via:

  • Signage in both English and Simplified Chinese at Sinnott Street Reserve
  • Door-knocks to local residences around the park
  • A letter to properties within the direct vicinity of the park
  • A fact sheet with information in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese and Greek on how to have your say during design development of the park.

A snapshot

Community responses

  • 70 survey responses (67 in English, 3 in Chinese)
  • 18 comments on the interactive map
  • 71% of survey participants reside in Burwood.

We heard from a range of age groups

  • 6%: 18 years old or younger
  • 15%: 19-34 years old
  • 39%: 35-49 years old
  • 22%: 50-65 years old
  • 18%: 65 years and older.

Communication and engagement

  • 56 properties door-knocked
  • 1200 fact sheets distributed
  • eNews article sent to over 4,000 subscribers with around 250 clicks through to the Burwood Public Open Space Engage Victoria page
  • Social media posts reaching over 10,000 people.

Main reason for visiting Sinnott Street Reserve?

  • 17%: I mainly use the barbeque facilities and picnic tables I mainly use the playground equipment
  • 15%: I mainly use the playground equipment
  • 15%: I mainly sit on the benches or underneath the shade of trees
  • 23%: I pass through Sinnott Street Reserve to access the Gardiners Creek Trail
  • 4%: I mainly use the Reserve to play games or sports
  • 12%: I visit to appreciate the historical Burwood Drive-In features I visit to enjoy the flowers, plants and open space

How do you get to Sinnott Street Reserve?

  • 62%: I walk
  • 25%: I ride my bike
  • 13%: I drive my car / ride my motorcycle
  • 0%: I use public transport

Do you visit Sinnott Street Reserve with others?

  • 56%: Yes, I usually visit Sinnott Street Reserve with my family
  • 13%: Yes, I usually visit Sinnott Street Reserve with friends
  • 31%: No, I usually visit Sinnott Street Reserve by myself

How do you feel about the new public open space connecting into the Lundgren Chain Reserve Walk?

  • 12%: Strongly disagree
  • 6%: Disagree
  • 20%: Neither agree nor disagree
  • 37%: Agree
  • 25%: Strongly agree

Community feedback

We’d like to thank the community for providing their feedback to help us design this new park.

Areas of interest

Key feedback themes have been identified through assessment of responses to the Engage Victoria survey and interactive map activity, responses from local park user groups as well as direct engagement with community members in the direct vicinity.

Some suggestions for gym equipment, a bike repair station, a water feature and dog facilities were deemed impractical for a space of this size and also did not meet local council guidelines.

Barbecue, drinking water and waste facilities

What we heard

Respondents told us:

  • They would like a barbecue area with seating arrangements, bins, drinking water fountains and lighting
  • They would like the project to consider installing toilets around these facilities.

SRLA response

  • There are existing barbecue and seating facilities at Sinnott Street Reserve that will be relocated
  • These facilities are to be located within the bigger play space area of Lundgren Reserve approximately 1.1km from their existing location
  • This temporary replacement park project is situated on a small area of land which does not meet local council criteria for a toilet facility. There are also challenges with including many design items in a smaller open space location.

Seating at the new park

What we heard

Respondents told us:

  • They would like a sheltered picnic space to enjoy with family and friends.

SRLA response

  • Due to the size of the site and intended purpose of the temporary park as a playscape and open green space for recreational use, a sheltered picnic space will not be included in the design
  • SRL will install picnic benches and retain existing and plant additional trees to provide shading around the playground and seating areas.

A connection with the historical Burwood Drive-In at the new park

What we heard

Respondents told us:

  • They want the legacy of the old Burwood Drive-In represented at the new park
  • They would like local Aboriginal and European history incorporated in the new park.

SRLA response

  • The SRL East Urban Design Strategy will guide the design of the new SRL station and surrounding area, which is in the location of the old Burwood Drive-In. This guidance includes:
    • An acknowledgement and celebration of Aboriginal cultural heritage values and local history
    • A design that celebrates the former Burwood Skyline Drive-in, building on and enhancing the existing heritage trail and enriching peoples’ experience of the station surrounds
    • Development of an Urban Design and Landscape Plan to provide a further opportunity for the public to consider the heritage legacy of the old Burwood Drive-In at that site
  • As part of the design of the temporary open space, we will include wayfinding signage with information on the local Aboriginal and European history of the area with input and support from City of Whitehorse.

Inclusive playground facilities

What we heard

Respondents told us:

  • Play equipment including items such as slides, swings, monkey bars, a wobble bridge and sandpit would be important in the design of the new park
  • They value accessible and inclusive facilities so that all children including those with disability can use the play area.

SRLA response

  • The replacement playground will include new play equipment including a basket swing, slide, rocker, wobble bridge and carousel. The slide and carousel will be available as all-access play equipment to provide accessible and inclusive opportunities for children with disability to use the new park
  • Pavement and rubber ground will be used to ensure access to and around the play area. These features will be compliant with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements.

Trees and local flora to be retained with new planting opportunities and green space

What we heard

Respondents told us:

  • They value the local native vegetation and natural environment and want existing trees to be protected
  • They want the design of the new park to include grassed areas with tree shade to encourage nature-based play and exploration.

SRLA response

  • Indigenous vegetation contributes positively to the natural flora and fauna. Plant species must be in accordance with Whitehorse City Council’s “Indigenous Gardening in Whitehorse booklet”
  • All trees protected by Significant Landscape Overlay – Schedule 9 will be retained. Twenty trees will be retained subject to a specialised arborist report. Six trees will need to be removed to build the new park
  • We will preserve the grassed areas and shade trees in the design and will provide additional planting at the site.

Safety, security and quiet enjoyment for neighbouring properties

What we heard

Respondents told us:

  • They are concerned about light spillage into neighbouring homes
  • They have concerns about park noise impacting on neighbouring properties
  • They would like upgraded and higher boundary fencing included for neighbouring properties.

SRLA response

  • We understand the concerns from neighbours around potential noise and light impacts due to the proximity of the park to residential properties
  • The playground will be located at a minimum of 10m from residential properties and behind boundary fencing, with lighting to be positioned away from properties.
  • SRLA has spoken with neighbouring residents about upgrades to boundary fencing. The project will also be planting screening along the boundary of the park and neighbouring properties.

Next steps

All feedback summarised in this report has been reviewed and has informed the development of the Burwood Open Space replacement park design.

With construction underway from late-2022, we are continuing to engage with the local community, including those located in the direct vicinity of the site.

This next phase of engagement will include distribution of information on the timeline of the park delivery and how any potential impacts will be mitigated during construction.