A master of a plan for Ford Park

Throughout 2016 a master plan for Ford Park was developed with input from the variety of people that use the park.

The master plan was adopted by Council in September 2016 and is being used to deliver improvements at the park over the next decade including:

  • the creation of a community and social hub;
  • improving access; and
  • upgrading park facilities.

If you contributed to the master plan, thank you! We are busy working on delivering each of the actions associated with the plan, a few of which you can already take advantage of or are currently under construction.

Where are things at?

Thank you

Many thanks to everyone who got involved and shared ideas during the consultations.

Your feedback has been used to help create the family gathering and youth space final design and construction for stage 1 will start October 2018.

Stage 1

  • Children’s Playspace
  • Landscaped surrounds including lawn areas, trees, garden beds
  • Two Picnic areas complete with shelters, picnic settings and barbecues
  • Ride and scoot track

Funding for design, documentation and works on site is in place.

Stage 2

  • Multipurpose Casual Play Court
  • Landscaped surrounds including lawn areas, trees, garden beds
  • Accessible paths, seating, bike racks and drinking fountains

Stage 2 is subject to funding - considerations about funding options and time frames still to take place.

Other work for the park

Take a look at the Ford Park master plan to learn about all improvements for the park as a high level concept.

Several parts of the master plan require more detail (just like we've done with the family, gathering and youth space) before budgeting and work can get underway.


Ford Park is a 9.5ha neighbourhood sporting park which has the potential to become a vibrant local park accommodating the formal sporting activities but also the informal passive and active recreation. Ford Park is located within Bellfield bordering Ivanhoe, an area which is experiencing significant change and growth. The changes in this area are expected to continue well into the future and has reinforced the need for a master plan.

The Ford Park master plan was prepared in consultation with a wide variety of users and other interested stakeholders. The intention with the master plan is for Council to deliver prioritised improvements over time based on identified goals and actions.

Ford Park Master Plan

The Ford Park master plan is made up of key objectives that are expanded upon by meeting goals that are delivered through individual actions. The summary, objectives, goals and actions are all listed on this page.

If you'd like to read the report associated with the master plan including all actions, open the full report to get more detail.


Ford Park Master Plan Summary

Key objectives

Ford Park Master Plan indicating actions associated with objective 1

Provide new playspace to replace the existing

Action 1.1

Priority: High

Remove the existing playspace near the grandstand which has reached the end of its useful life. The playspace lacks interest and does not meet the expectation of playspaces today.

Action 1.2

Priority: High

Provide a new “neighbourhood” playspace east of the northern oval which caters for a range of younger age groups and comprises a diverse mix of play opportunities and experiences. The playspace should be consistent with the objectives of the Public Open Space Plan in providing for nature based play activities as well as new play equipment. Shade should be provided utilising existing and supplementary tree planting. The playspace should be located within reasonable walking distance and proximity to public toilets and change facilities. A barrier fence should be provided on the Oriel Road side of the playspace concealed within garden beds.

Provide picnic facilities to promote social gatherings and activate public spaces

Action 1.3

Priority: High

Provide picnic facilities within a close proximity to the playspace comprising picnic tables, shelters, electric barbecues, bike rails and bin enclosures.

Incorporate fitness stations in the park

Action 1.4

Priority: High

Incorporate exercise stations in association with walking trails and pathways to promote intergenerational health and fitness usable by all members of the community including the elderly. Three fitness stations should be located in the park: one each in the north, and south close to park entry points and one near the playspace / social hub.

Provide accessible courts and recreational facilities for casual public use

Action 1.5

Priority: High

Remove the existing basketball court.

Action 1.6

Priority: High

Provide a new multipurpose court line marked for netball, basketball and other ball sports if required.

Action 1.7

Priority: High

Provide a hit-up rebound wall with tennis net and other ball game line markings.

Action 1.8

Priority: High

Consider the inclusion of a practice golf cage behind the cricket nets.

Incorporate youth spaces and activities

Action 1.9

Priority: High

Provide youth spaces comprising of picnic tables, seating and protective shelter where teenagers can meet, socialise and study.

Action 1.10

Priority: High

Provide outdoor ping-pong/ table tennis, bouldering and parkour elements to encourage the activation of spaces by teenagers and adults.

Provide an enclosed dog off leash area

Action 1.11

Priority: High

Provide a dedicated dog off leash area between the planted mound and Council depot in the south-west area of the park. New fencing shall be concealed within existing and proposed garden beds to lessen its visual impact. Entry gates to be provided at the north and south end. Drink fountains with integrated dog drink bowls are to be incorporated into the space including dog litter bag dispensers or signage advising dog owners to take home their litter.

Provide pathways and furniture within the reserve to improve connectivity, access and comfort throughout the park

Action 2.1

Priority: High

Replace existing asphalt pathways with a 2.2m wide ‘tan track’ (primary path) comprising compacted gravel paths to circumnavigate the park with connections to/from park entry points. All secondary paths will be 1.8m wide comprising the same material.

Action 2.2

Priority: High

Install and distribute new seats and drink fountain evenly across the park.

Improve pedestrian access from adjoining neighbourhood streets

Action 2.3

Priority: High

As Oriel Road is a declared VicRoads road, investigate with VicRoads opportunities to improve connectivity and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. In particular, access across Oriel Road to Ford Park in key entry locations opposite O’Keefe Street and Perkins Avenue East.

Action 2.4

Priority: High

Create park entry points at each of the following locations:

  • Corner of Oriel Road and Harrison Street;
  • Corner of Oriel Road and Banskia Street; and
  • Corner of Harrison Street and Davidson Street.

Park entrances will comprise park identification signage, garden bed displays, feature paving and casual seating.

Action 2.5

Priority: High

Develop a wayfinding/signage plan for the park including distance indicators for walking / running.

Action 2.6

Priority: High

Provide a safe pedestrian crossing within the car park with outstand islands.

Action 2.7

Investigate provision of footpath along the south side of the Council Depot to improve the link from the Darebin Creek to Ford Park.

Keep unauthorised vehicles out of the park

Action 2.8

Priority: High

Remove the existing and outdated steel post and pipe rail fence around the park. Consider replacement with bollards or a timber post and pipe rail fence to prevent unauthorised vehicles entering the park.

Improve safety within the park at night

Action 2.9

Priority: High

Provide park lighting along pathways to improve safety and the use of park facilities the ‘tan track’ and fitness stations at night. Strategic lighting plan to be developed.

Action 2.10

Priority: High

Remove redundant light poles which fail to illuminate pathways i.e. the light between the sports ovals.

Action 2.11

Maintain clear sight lines through the reserve using high canopy trees and low shrubs incorporating Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Principles.

Increase car parking numbers

Action 2.12

Priority: High

Remove car parking facing the northern oval to facilitate the construction of the ‘tan track’.

Action 2.13

Priority: High

Provide a connecting internal access road between the northern and southern car park. This could also include drop off/pick up zones.

Action 2.14

Priority: High

Undertake in conjunction with pavilion planning a Parking Study to assess whether 90 degree parking can be achieved along Davidson and Harrison Street to address any increase park usage by sporting clubs and minimise impacts on surrounding residents. If not, provide indented parallel parking along these streets.

Given its proximity to the Darebin Creek, enhance Ford Park’s native landscape character

Action 3.1

Priority: Ongoing

Gradually phase out environmental weed species such as Ash and Pine and other exotic trees as they near the end of their safe useful life. Simultaneously undertake succession planting using indigenous/native tree and under storey planting.

Action 3.2

Priority: High

Remove senescent and/or deceased trees and replace with indigenous/native varieties.

Action 3.3

Priority: High

Add additional tree planting along pathways and social gathering spaces for shade and spatial definition. Trees assist in controlling solar access and create much cooler environments particularly in summer.

Veil undesirable views

Action 3.4

Priority: Medium

Continue buffer planting along the Council Depot boundary at the car park to screen the boundary fencing

Consider water sensitive urban design initiatives

Action 3.5

Priority: Medium

Investigate the inclusion of raingardens and vegetation swales within the existing and new car parking areas in order to reduce nutrient loads and suspended solids entering the stormwater catchment.

Establish a primary winter tenant at Ford Park

Action 4.1

Priority: High

Northern Football League and Council to work collaboratively in establishing a primary winter tenant (AFL).

Provide a new multipurpose sports pavilion for use by sporting clubs and community groups

Action 4.2

Priority: Medium

Remove the existing grand stand as the facility is run down, aged and unable to be expanded upon to increase the number of male, female and umpire change rooms which would otherwise attract a permanent winter tenant at the park.

Action 4.3

Priority: Medium

Remove the existing public toilet building.

Action 4.4

Priority: Medium

Construct a new accessible multipurpose community hub/ sports pavilion to be shared by cricket and football clubs. The pavilion would be available to other community groups with an accessible public toilet facility attached to this building to service increased community use. The sport pavilion will be skirted with spectator viewing areas and terracing where slope allows, including an entry plaza from the main car park.

Upgrade the southern oval

Action 4.5

Priority: High

Provide additional sports lighting for training purposes.

Action 4.6

Priority: Ongoing

Retain the openness (unfenced) character of the southern oval for community festivals, events and general casual use.

Upgrade the northern oval

Action 4.7

Priority: Low

Remove the existing pipe and rail fence around the oval and replace with a 1.2m high black PVC coated chain wire fence.

Action 4.8

Priority: High

Integrate into the perimeter fence a black PVC coated chain wire ball catch fence behind the goals at the Oriel Road end to prevent footballs entering the playspace.

Action 4.9

Priority: Low

Provide coaches boxes for home and visitor teams integrated within the boundary fence.

Action 4.10

Priority: Low

Provide a permanent scoreboard.

Action 4.11

Priority: Low

Provision for an additional cricket practice net as and/or if the cricket club grows. Consideration should also be given to potentially abandoning the current location relocating/reorientating the practice nets north-south.

Action 4.12

Priority: Medium

Provide sheltered spectator area.

Reduce litter dumping in the park

Action 5.1

Priority: High

Provide an even distribution of litter bins around the park, particularly along pathways, at entry points and social gathering spaces. Ensure the placement of bins is undertaken in conjunction with rubbish collection contractors.

Provide maintenance access to all parts of the park

Action 5.2

Priority: High

Provide maintenance access for ride on mowers and utility vehicles to the north and south of the park including the enclosed dog-off leash area.

Use easily obtainable, replaceable and longer lasting landscape materials for use within the park

Action 5.3

Priority: Ongoing

Consider the use of locally available landscape and building materials for replacement and/or top up.

Action 5.4

Priority: Ongoing

Consider the use of materials which have a longer life span such as renewable and recyclables, plastic-wood composite products and steels.

Upgrade and protect utility authority assets

Action 5.5

Priority: High

Provide a new steel cage enclosure over all water meters.