Western Melbourne Group (WMG), the ownership body of Australian A-League football club Western United, has received planning permission from the state of Victoria for its new stadium.

WMG today (Friday) said it is one step closer to delivering Wyndham City Stadium after State Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved a key planning amendment. The planning approval allows detailed design of the stadium and development to be finalised and construction timelines to be determined.

The development is set to be the first major sports stadium owned by a professional football club in Australia. The 15,000-seat stadium will be the centrepiece of a broader development that links sports, commercial and residential precincts.
 
The development, being undertaken by WMG and Wyndham City Council, will turn approximately 70 hectares of land in Tarneit into a mixed-use precinct comprising of sport, entertainment, commercial, residential and community uses. 
 
“Today’s announcement is a huge milestone and is a significant step towards the vision for a world class sport, entertainment, business and living precinct within Melbourne’s West,” said Western Melbourne Group chairman, Jason Sourasis.

“The planning approval signals the official start to the project and means construction on the stadium can commence by mid-2021 and should be ready in time for (Australia and New Zealand’s) Women’s World Cup in 2023.”

Western United is currently in its second season in the A-League and splits its home games between GMHBA Stadium, AAMI Park and Mars Stadium. In December 2018, key stakeholders behind the successful bid to bring an A-League expansion franchise to Western Melbourne revealed further details concerning their new stadium plans, which they say will be a “game-changer” not just for football, but for Australian sport as a whole.

WMG has pledged to develop the first football-specific stadium in Australia. Located in Wyndham, 25km west of Melbourne’s central business district, the stadium has been handed a price tag of Aus$150m (£84.8m/€95.2m/$115.9m) and will represent the first public-private partnership utilised to develop a sports facility in the country.

Wyndham Council has granted WMG a parcel of land in exchange for them funding the stadium development, along with associated commercial and residential buildings, in an effort to boost an under-utilised area.

Speaking today, Wyndham City Mayor, Adele Hegedich, said the stadium and training facility will provide widespread infrastructure, economic and community benefits to Wyndham and beyond. She added: “This is an exciting project for Wyndham. The planning approval means we can now get on with the job and start preparing to construct the main stadium and elite sports training facility.
 
“Large projects such as this are significant for a city like Wyndham. As we continue our COVID recovery, we’re working hard to ensure our local economy bounces back and this project will provide jobs and create a fantastic new community asset.”

Image: Western United