198 apartments for Barkly St, WeFo?




More than a year ago, I tried to sweet talk the proprietor of 501 Receptions in West Footscray into letting me do a story on his operation.

Specifically, I wanted to spend a Saturday night at 501 Receptions taking in the go-to-whoa of an event such as a wedding – taking in along the way the staff, the kitchen, the food, everything.

Nothing came of my idea – even after a mutual acquaintance, someone who is something of an elder statesman of western suburbs food, tried to ease the way with 501 Receptions on my behalf.

Now I find that, under plans before Maribyrnong council, the future of 50 Receptions is very much up in the air.




According to a story by my Star Weekly colleague Benjamin Millar – read it here – council is considering a development proposal that would see the property home to 198 units in twin five-storey blocks plus eight retail tenancies.

I am not automatically opposed to such a development but such a plan certainly raises many questions.

The plans show carparking spaces to the tune of 201 while, according to Ben’s story, council guidelines would require a minimum of 260 spaces.

According to Ben’s story …

“A traffic assessment by engineering consultant Cardno found ‘anticipated traffic volume … is expected to have no significant impact on the surrounding road network’.”

Hmmm … I wonder what data and/or methodology they used to reach such a conclusion?




As anyone knows who regularly drives on Barkly Street, West Footrscray, or on Rupert or Cross streets, which run parallel to the railways tracks, the traffic situation in the area can get quite intense even with the current housing/resident levels.

And it would seem the revamp of West Footscray station is rather timely – but are there, or should there be, limits?

I’m interested in hearing from anyone who regularly uses either West Footscray or Tottenham stations as to whether either is nearing or already at peak capacity, especially in peak hours.

And on top of Banbury Village, what would such an apartment block plan mean for the area more generally in terms of what is often referred to as “amenity”?

21 thoughts on “198 apartments for Barkly St, WeFo?

  1. Interesting. Could well be a tactic from the developer… Ask for 200 apartments and be happy when council or vcat negotiates it down to 140.

    Don’t think I’ve ever experienced a crush at Wefo station. Though when one train gets cancelled the next one can be quite uncomfortable. Nor have I thought of Barkly St as being congested, though don’t drive it in peak hour.


      • Just read the linked article. The most concerning thing is the proposed size of the 1-BR apartments. 44sq.m. is tiny! Kitchen, living space, bedroom, bathroom – all in a floor plan roughly 4.5m x 10m. Wow.


  2. If the government and the council were smart, planning requirements should demand that any intense development around a significant transport hub to EXCLUDE or severely restrict car parking as part of the development. Traffic problem solved. Think about it.


  3. Looks like we all might struggle to get a car spot at Simms if they do not allocate enough. Tend to agree with first comment, the developers will have plans in place to get through the development to make a profit. Nearly impossible to stop any council from building more dwellings given they can then get more rates in as their main source of income.
    Hopefully they do provide a lot more off space parking as per regulation.

    The ability to charge for car parking might dimisish in the next decade or two, when driverless cars take over, since you can simply have your car drop you off and then find an an area to rest and then come pick you back up. This sounds like Sci Fi, when in fact it is currently happening and the IEEE is expected in less than 20 years, 75% of the worlds cars will be driverless (at a high level of AI). IEEE is usually conservative in it’s trend estimates as well.


  4. I am very upset by the redevelopment of 501 on Barkly. It should not happen. The character of the Village is slowly being destroyed. The building should have a heritage trust listing put on it as it has a distinctive Hollywood style. It has served the local community for years!!! I love it and am really upset about this.


    • Hi Rita! I tend to agree. Places such as 501 will struggle to get acknowledgement, I feel, on a heritage basis … there’s so much land involved and that’s the way of the world. Those apartments, should they go up, will absolutely change the nature of the neighbourhood. But that, too, is the way of the world. And I reckon councils, and even VCAT, sometimes struggle to fit such – to them – nebulous, fuzzy concepts into their criteria and guidelines. A complicating factor here is that the individual wanting to to the development is, from my understanding, the owner of 501.


    • I recall going to many a parish dinner dance there in my youth. But its time has passed. It is an eyesore, get rid of it.
      Like it or not high population density has to be the way of future development as it is the only driver of improvements in public transport.


      • Greetings, Pablo! Eyesore? Disgagree!

        If it’s true that “high population density has to be the way of future development as it is the only driver of improvements in public transport”, does it mean that a small, homely village such as West Footscray must automatically succumb to the wrecking balls?


      • I had occasion this arvo to shop at Central West. A good opportunity to revisit Barkly St (W). Obviously took in the panoramic view of 501. A closer inspection revealed a bigger complex than what I remembered from decades ago. Still, after a fresh look and armed in the knowledge that besides Kenny some others have a stake in retaining the status quo, I came to the inexorable conclusion – demolish it. Has no heritage value, no architectural significance and aesthetically it is unimaginative. A better use for the site should be welcomed. If the proposed redevelopment is not to the locals satisfaction then mobilise to persuade a better return for the site. From what I saw in the immediate vicinity you wouldn’t want any further examples of the double story development immediately to the east of 501 – what a heap of crap that development presents as.
        There’s not going to be any easy answer to the current residents plight. The locale is a victim of its own success. Little more than ten years ago, WF was all about SIMS, KFC and the odd fish and chip shop. Californian bungalows were bought for a song. It is now the inner west’s best kept secret. But it won’t be for much longer. There are plenty of infill sites fronting Barkley St and in the block behind. Development is coming big time. Sorry to say, but get used to it.


      • Pablo, you’re entitled to your opinion but not create mine for me – I do not “have a stake in retaining the status quo” even if I do have some qualms about what is proposed.


  5. The claims in that article about a smaller development not being economic is complete rubbish (i.e interest rates are at historic LOWS), and I concur with the views above that the traffic assessment is dubious at best .. Council staff should be able to demolish such bollocks with ease, and the developer made to front and make the case if they really think they have valid arguments

    One thing unclear to me was the existence – or otherwise – of public consultation on the proposal, as the article did not reference this

    As for the train station, the peak appears to be around 8 am – I’ve started going to Wefo rather than Middle Footscray simply because 100+ people get on at We Fo, and tend to snaffle the last of the seats (if there are any) .. the station itself has plenty of capacity, its simply the frequency of trains in the morning peak (and to a lesser extent, the evening peak). As someone else mentioned, when there is a delay the trains will be full by the time they get there – last Monday I walked onto Seddon rather than wait 20 minutes for a delayed train at We Fo, b/c of this


  6. Kenny,

    Why are you taking the reply option from particular posts? Are you trying to shutdown opposition to your views? I have noticed in the past that you do this when the dialogue is not to your liking.

    Kenny, if you are going to put yourself “out there” via rather opinionated articles, which you are quite entitled to do, is it such a surprise that perhaps others might disagree with you?


    • Whoa! I am removing no options. None at all. Why wordpress chooses to make a reply option available on some comments and not others is a mystery to me. I really wish it wasn’t so.

      It frustrates and dismays me that readers are unable to reply directly to each and every comment AND replies to comments, but instead must start a new comment further down. It’s one of the few flaws in the wordpress blogging system.

      But it also alarms me that this flaw is capable of giving the impression that I am manipulating comments. I am not. Though I do, of course, delete or not allow to be published in the first place anything that is obscene, legally dodgy or hateful. Thankfully, that is precious little.

      Bring on differing opinions!

      I merely felt that your “have a stake in retaining the status quo” was not an accurate representation of my position.


      • Kenny,

        Does the word “stake” in the context of which I used it have connotations with you that I did not foresee? If I said that you “had an interest” would that make the meaning less prickly?
        Perhaps the word “stake” and “stakeholder” to some is business jargon gone mad. But to use it in a contemporary sense as I have done is not to attach any ulterior motive as to why you wrote somewhat passionately about 501.
        I also have a “stake” in what happens to the site as I am an occasional visitor to the area and many years ago was a regular at SIMS. But my “stake” is less than yours when considering your frequent visits to the burgeoning restaurant scene along the strip. Yet both our “stakes” are quite insignificant to the immediate “stakeholders” of the area – the residents who have to live with the consequences of any redevelopment.

        I trust this goes at least some way to clearing up this matter?


      • Yes, Pablo, all good and thank you. BTW, as a pal has pointed out what wordpress seems to do is remove the reply option on comments, or replies to comments, after a certain number is reached. I hate it!


  7. It’s all happening in #wefo. There’s an excavator parked on the vacant lot across from Alan Mance Holden, and a planning application for 4 Cross St (across from Wefo station) for 30 dwellings


  8. To answer your question about the West Footscray train station use I have lived in Banbury Billage for the last 4.5 years so I used the older station and the newer bigger station. When I first took the train there might have been 20 people getting on in the morning but now there is 100 to 150 people per train. (On a good day there are a couple of free seats) The more interesting part about the new station is the two new car parts. (one of each side of the station) They are full before 7.30 am and people had started parking on the side streets. (Beech,Beame and Beaurepaire) In the last 4 or so months these streets have become 2 hour parking Monday – Friday. I would suggest this means there are a number of people who drive to West Footscray station vs walk from the local area. Between this and the new developments being built if you add another 50 or 100 people per train in the morning I am not sure how many people two stops later at Footscray are going to get onto this train.


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