Windy Hill $50M redevelopment

Sorry I can’t open HS exclusive due to paywall!

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Bowls club getting kicked out and cricket club too.
Going to be the new home of our VFL, AFLW and VFLw sides as well as other sporting groups.

ESSENDON Football Club will announce a bold vision to transform its spiritual Windy Hill home into an “unmatched’’ Victorian female footy and community sport precinct.

A $50 million plan for the prime Essendon site and stage of some of the club’s most famous moments will be announced on Monday, including opening the precinct to the public.

Windy Hill – Essendon’s home from 1922 to 2013 — will undergo a significant facelift under the plan including demolition of a grandstand and relocation of a pokies and bistro venue.

A new multipurpose community centre, synthetic running track, children’s playgrounds, light towers so matches can be played and broadcast at night, cafe and parklands form part of the blueprint.

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

Plans to move existing cricket and bowls clubs from the site will also be announced, to make way for recreation areas and increased community football training space.

Essendon president Paul Brasher said the revamp would deliver “a premium venue for girls and women’s football that is unmatched in our state.”

It would also make better community use of an oval once dominated by the likes of Bombers greats John Coleman, ■■■■ Reynolds and Tim Watson and adored by the club’s 81,662 members.

“The current tired and constrained facilities do not do justice to their importance to the community or meet their future needs,’’ Mr Brasher said.

“We are determined to ensure that the project delivers a far superior outcome.’’

The Herald Sun can reveal Windy Hill will be reshaped, expanded and resurfaced to become the match-day home of Essendon’s AFLW, VFLW and VFL teams and elite junior Victorian footy programs.

Grandstands will be refurbished to enhance the spectator experience, new digital scoreboards constructed and four unisex change rooms installed.

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

Moonee Valley Council mayor Samantha Byrne said it was a “a once in a generation opportunity’’ and “a wonderful opportunity to increase access for the growing number of female football players.’’

“While the Windy Hill grounds have been a prominent sporting location for more than a century, the facilities are tired and a new vision and life for the reserve is needed,’’ she said.

The council will scout improved facilities offsite for the Essendon Cricket and Bowls Clubs to make way for the project, with state and federal government funding to be sought.

A $30 million first phase would open year-round for community football, with refurbished social and function areas, accessible recreation space and grandstand upgrades.

The W.H. Cookson Stand would be demolished and fences removed to the public, with the R.S. Reynolds and Alan T. Hird Stands retained.

A new home would be sought for the Victorian Premier Cricket club that has called Windy Hill home since 1872.

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

An artists impression of the $50 million redevelopment proposed for Essendon’s iconic Windy Hill Oval., Credit: Jackson Architecture

Windy Hill social venue moved and improved admin offices created for the Essendon and District Football League.

The second, more than $20 million phase, would build the Windy Hill Community Sports Centre, outdoor play areas, cafe, training track and moving the bowls club.

Essendon Cricket Club president Simon Tobin said it would work “in good faith’’ to explore all options regarding the redevelopment of Windy Hill, including moving to an alternative site.

Essendon Bowls Club committee member Rob Blachford said it was “an exciting vision for the regeneration of Windy Hill”.

“If achieved, this exciting vision with the development of a much-needed new state-of the-art bowls centre, will not only create significantly improved outcomes for bowlers, but also free-up valuable space at Windy Hill,’’ he said.

Construction would start late next year, with the first stage completed in time for the 2024 AFLW season.

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Now the bowls club will move :rage:

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I know with the original proposal on the redevelopment of Windy Hill to improve our training facilities (which were knocked on the head because of Essendon Bowls Club’s refusal to relocate), the cricket club was going to be relocated to Cross Keys. I wonder if that will be the case again? Happy they are retaining the Hird and Reynolds stands. The Cookson is only used by the cricket club these days and only the bottom bit is accessed by the general public…

Bowls gone, croquet stays :rofl:

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I thought the Cookson Stand was useless.
Cricket facilities were okay, but everything above it all was terribly out of date and too expensive to fix. I worked on one of the proposed redevelopments back in 2003. Before when the gym was under to Showers Stand and was to be redeveloped. It was a terrible proposal because there was no way the Cookson Stand could be renovated as the Gym remained in function. Insurance was a nightmare. I’m glad they eventually built it to the side, moved them, then dealt with the Showers Stand.

I knew Darryl Jackson would be the architects. There was a reason he found his way onto that board. Networking opportunities. Anything to do with developments go through his company.

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Spongy floors

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So does that mean the bowls club will be knocked down??

We’re moving back, yay

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Send the cricket club to Tullamarine, there’s a great facility there.

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According to the artist’s impressions, Zali Friswell comes back from Geelong to play for us and against them. In fact we clone her. I think the others are Ugle, Gardner, Dicker, and maybe Clifford :sunglasses:

Not clear why Melbourne is listed on the scoreboard while we’re playing Geelong.

Nice. Windy Hill has been a dump for a long time. The whole area. Should be a real sporting hub for the whole suburb now.

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I like it! Hopefully there’s a fence around the oval for when matches are on :joy:

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Lets move the men’s team back home. Let the rest have the shed next to the airport.

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Good bounce

Funny how things change when The Council is running the project.

I am so keen for this.

Funding coming from the council?

Will the women and non-AFL boys/men still be training at Tulla?

Itd be nice to be able to watch the AFL team train there during preseasons.

Hopefully, for @THE_DON1 Calder games get relocated to windy Hill

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Presumably yes, but with the improved facilities, might be able to be shared more.

Not sure what the problem was before?

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