Plans to create new open precincts in the south east of Melbourne in 2018 to replace the space created by the removal of nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong in Victoria have been unveiled.

The designs for 22.5 hectares of landscaped parks, paths and recreation facilities are now available to view online.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said raising parts of the Cranbourne/Pakenham line will remove nine level crossings and open up land that will be used for parks, paths, play areas and a 17km walking and cycling trail stretching all the way from Caulfield to Eastlink.

“By removing the most dangerous and congested level crossings we are making our communities safer – and by providing more open space we’re making them a better place to live,” Ms Allan said.

Across the open space will be recreation facilities for all ages, with multi-purpose sports courts, rock climbing and skate elements all featuring in the park alongside more traditional picnic seating and barbecues and heritage station buildings.

Dog owners will have access to two fenced dog parks in Clayton and Noble Park addressing a lack of off-leash facilities in Melbourne’s south east.

More than 430 additional car spaces will also be built to ease parking pressures for commuters, including an extra 100 for the fast-growing suburb of Noble Park.

More than 4000 trees will be planted, including hundreds donated to local councils or groups – primarily gums, eucalypts and other natives known to attract birdlife.

The plans come after extensive consultation from a Community Open Space Expert Panel, chaired by the Royal Botanical Gardens Director, Tim Entwisle, who received over 850 surveys and spoke to over 2000 community members.

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