AN EXPANSIVE wetlands and reserve area is taking shape on the western side of the Armstrong Creek Town Centre.
A large basin has been dug out beside Burvilles Road to create the wetlands which will be used to control stormwater run-off and flood zones.
The wetlands project forms an important part of Wel.Co’s $1 billion development of the 40-hectare Armstrong Creek Town Centre site.
Wel.Co development manager Joel Mitchell said excavation works were now complete and all associated services had been installed as part of planned water sensitive urban design (WSUD) for the area.
Clay lining and rock retaining walls are currently under construction at the site which will eventually feature a large expanse of water surrounded by native vegetation to support native flora and fauna.
Mr Mitchell said he expected the project to be complete by September or October this year.
“We’d like to think of it as a natural reserve once it is completed,” he said.
“Plantings will help to filter the water and provide nutrients to support natural wildlife as part of the bigger ecosystem.
“In addition, we will plant a lot of trees to help the wetlands blend into the natural landscape.
“Armstrong Creek Town Centre is being developed with environmental and sustainable principles in place and we are very mindful of implementing these measures as part of the development.
“And that’s why we wanted to make the wetlands into more of a natural reserve rather than just a water run-off basin.”
Mr Mitchell said a shared walking and cycling path around the wetlands was another key feature of the overall design.
“Along Burvilles Road it will come up and circle around both sides of the wetlands which means pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use and share the wetlands as a recreation facility,” he said.
Mr Mitchell said the wetlands would not be a stagnant body of water as it was constantly moving.
“It is constantly stirred up and some of the pits we’ve put in place act like a vortex that suck, recycle and refresh the water,” he said.
An artist’s impression of the project depicts a world-class hotel and conference centre overlooking the wetlands but Mr Mitchell said that type of development was still some way off as they were only in stage two of a planned 11-stage development.
“We are still in the infant stages of the overall Armstrong Creek Town Centre development, but already key infrastructure items are being delivered to complement the huge demand for retail space and the acceleration of development of future stages,” he said.
Armstrong Creek is one of Australia’s fastest growing suburbs with 11.6 per cent population growth per annum forecast over the next five years.
The Town Centre is seen as the commercial and social heart of this growth area and is bounded by the Surf Coast Highway, Boundary Road, Burvilles Road and Barwarre Road.
Last week it was announced Wel.Co had sold the Armstrong Creek Shopping Centre to listed fund manager Home Consortium’s Daily Needs REIT for $55.6 million, with settlement to happen at the end of the month.