Urban design plan approved for North East Link Tunnels

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The Urban Design and Landscape Plan (UDLP) for the North East Link Tunnels from Watsonia to Bulleen has been approved.

In response to community feedback received through the project’s Environment Effects Statement, the UDLP included longer tunnels to Watsonia, improved interchange designs at Lower Plenty Road, Manningham Road and the Eastern Freeway, new parklands and wetlands in Yallambie and Bulleen, a tree-lined boulevard for Greensborough Road and a new green bridge over Bulleen Road.

While the plan was on exhibition in May 2022, it was viewed more than 37,500 times online. Over 500 people came to an information session in Watsonia or Bulleen to speak with our team, and just over 250 submissions were received.

In response to submissions received the final UDLP approved by the Minister for Planning on 3 February 2023, includes further improvements to the design including:

Improved walking and cycling connections

  • To and through Borlase Reserve in Yallambie.
  • To and through the new cultural wetlands along the Yarra River (Birrarung) in Bulleen.
  • Along Bulleen Road in Bulleen.
  • Across the Eastern Freeway interchange in Balwyn North.

More opportunities for more trees and plants

  • To improve community spaces, enhance wildlife habitat and help screen ventilation structures, noise walls, bridges and buildings.
  • We’re also building a new wildlife crossing under Lower Plenty Road between Borlase Reserve and Banyule Flats.

More privacy and better views for residents

  • A new high-quality fence and extra planting for residents near Borlase Reserve.
  • More space for trees and plants near noise walls on Estelle Street in Bulleen.
  • Keeping existing trees in Koonung Creek Reserve near Leonis Avenue in Balwyn North.

Thank you to everyone who took an interest in the UDLP online, came to an information session or gave us your feedback.

You can read a summary of what we heard, and changes made to the UDLP in the Community Consultation Report (PDF, 3.7 MB).

See the approved UDLP

With the Urban Design and Landscape Plan now approved, locals will see construction work continue to ramp up including preparation for the 2 giant tunnel boring machines that will arrive later this year.

North East Link