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Burnham Beeches - Placemaking Engagement, Vision and Place Positioning


Sherbrooke, Dandenongs, VIC - Trenerry Property (2022-2023)

Categories and services:

  • Placemaking Engagement

  • Placemaking Vision

  • Place Positioning

  • Tourism destinations 

  • Visitor Experience Plan 

Image courtesy of Burnham Beeches

Burnham Beeches is a locally loved and well-renowned Art-Deco mansion and 22-hectare estate in Sherbrooke in the Dandenong Ranges, with a fascinating history of diverse uses, multiple owners, failed masterplans and years of neglect. Trenerry Consortium, purchased the property and established an industry-leading team to develop a masterplan for a new destination, including a luxury wellness hotel, events and dining.

Village Well were engaged within a pre-master planning place making and engagement process to lead the broader visioning and positioning for the site.

Community sensitivity and frustration was identified as an early risk for the project. Village Well developed a comprehensive and tailored engagement approach, and supported the establishment of a community advocate who championed the project locally. 

An online survey, focus groups and several community events were held at the property over a year long period, engaging over 500 local people. These sessions provided a platform to personally introduce the owners, share project updates and test some of the emerging ideas for the project.

The culmination of research, engagement and ideation was the development of a Place Visioning and Positioning report for Burnham Beeches, which provided a compelling vision for the project, mixed-use blend, visitor attractions and amenities, events/activation programming calendar and actionable recommendations to realise the place vision over the long term.

The collaboratively delivered process helped align project team thinking, ensuring that every aspect of the masterplan; from architecture, landscaping through to future product and service was driven by the ‘true north’ place vision, values and principles. The project was shortlisted in the 2023 Urban Developer Awards for Excellence in Community Engagement.

Stage 1 planning permits have now been secured for the masterplan, with construction due to commence in late 2023.

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